Results tagged “volunteer” from GSSA Leader Blog: The Virtual Volunteer


I was a Girl Scout. For many years, my own mother was my leader. Naturally, that motivated my choice to be a leader for my own daughter. And many times I compare my leadership experience with hers. She took us to Kiwanis for Camporees. She even served as Service Unit manager a few years. We did service projects and fun things. I participated in the council's Spotlight Girl program, and I did radio spots to promote Girl Scout Cookies. When I was a Cadette, I got on a plane and flew to National Center West for a Wider Opportunity. I earned my Gold Award. When I graduated from high school and went on to college, those experiences went with me. I like to think that my Girl Scout experiences, along with others, helped me earn the scholarships that sent me to college.

Fast forward quite a few years, and I became a Girl Scout again. My own daughter wanted to be a Girl Scout, and we joined a troop here in our hometown. I assisted with the few Juniors in the troop, while the leaders focused on the Brownie activities. My daughter is now a Girl Scout Senior, and I have been involved in her troop from the beginning. I have served with my service unit as Secretary and even helped plan service unit events.

My troop loves to go to new places and experience new things. Badges are okay, but plan a trip and they are all in. At times I have struggled with whether my troop is being done "right." But it is girl-led -- we do what they want to do. We have spent the night at the Georgia Aquarium, at the McWane Center (three times!), in the Battleship, and at Fort Gaines. We have been on Mini-Destinations at Dauphin Island Sea Lab (twice!) and at Space Camp. They have learned how to make tasty goodies and decorate cakes, they have gone on hikes, and they swam with dolphins this summer. We collect food for our sponsoring church's Christmas boxes each November, we donate to the church clothes closet, and we participate in the church-sponsored Slapout Clean-Up each spring. We hope to learn about falconry next year, and we are signing up to participate in the council's Dozing with Dolphins event. If I can get them there and we can afford it, we go.

So, you may be asking, how has this journey benefitted my family or changed my life for the better? I can truly say that Girl Scouts has enriched my life. I have had opportunities that I would not otherwise have had. I have done things I probably never would have if I had not been a Girl Scout or a Girl Scout leader. And, now, as a leader, I am truly blessed to be able to share these opportunities and experiences with my own daughter and a few girls I have watched blossom into amazing young ladies over the years. I hope every day that my leading them enriches their lives. I want them to see amazing things, experience amazing things, and to do amazing things. Watching girls grow into young women of courage, confidence, and character is beyond enriching. Seeing it happen touches the soul. I cannot speak for other leaders, but I suspect that they feel similarly. That feeling is why we come back year after year. Because it truly matters.

     -- Marcy Perdue


Each year, Girl Scouts of Southern Alabama is given the gift of millions of hours of generosity on the part of the volunteers.   These volunteers make a difference in the lives of thousands of girls in the southern half of the Great State of Alabama.   Most would be worthy recipients of the Volunteer of the Year award.   They are devoted to their girls, spend lots of times assuring girls have a great experience, and much of their work and effort goes unheralded.

In 2001, Leslie Lerner started to substitute teach at St. Paul's Episcopal School, when her own children were getting older.  By 2004, she was working full time at St. Paul's.   For many of those years, Leslie has been a volunteer with Girl Scouts, working with St. Paul's students to bring Girl Scouting to students at Augusta Evans School in Mobile.   She has inspired her students to provide Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts to the students there.

Leslie, as the head of the Community Service Department at St. Paul's, works with students who become class tutors at Prichard Preparatory School, and the Regional School for the Deaf and Blind.   St. Paul's students do projects at McKemie Place, the Ronald McDonald House, Animal Rescue Foundation, and Little Sisters of the Poor.   Students also do annual service days at Habitat for Humanity and Wilmer Hall.   As a part of a St. Paul's education, students are required to perform at least 15 hours of community service per year, and Leslie is a task master to assure the students do the work and do quality work in the community.

Leslie Lerner is driven.   She is driven to help others.   She is driven to be sure her students assist the largest number of people possible.   Leslie has high expectations for herself and her students.   She is a servant leader.   Leslie is remarkable because she always brings out the best in the people she touches.   Her energy and drive have made the St. Paul's Community Service Department an asset to the community.

On behalf of more than 7,000 girls of Girl Scouts of Southern Alabama, I want to congratulate Leslie Lerner on being selected our 2013-2014 Volunteer of the Year.

Disney Live! presents Three Classic Fairy Tales on Thursday, April 12 at the Montgomery Performing Arts Centre.   Join Mickey, Minnie, Donald and Goofy as they bring the timeless fairytale adventures of Cinderella, Beauty and The Beast, and Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs to life right in your hometown. Featuring dynamic storytelling, award winning music, stunning costumes and glittering special effects, audiences will be captivated by the humor, fun and adventure of these spellbinding stories. Dream with the princesses, cheer for the heroes as they conquer evil villains, and marvel as these classic tales are brought to life in a theatrical experience that's pure magic. Call 800-745-3000 to purchase tickets and use Customer Code DLIVE12.

The Murray House on Government Street has a volunteer need from local Scout troops. They are collecting hygiene items to give to their male and female residents for prizes. Examples of hygiene items they need are: toothpaste and toothbrushes, Kleenex, soap, shampoo, hairbrushes, and combs. They also have a need for new blankets, towels, and pillows, if anyone wants to donate those. If your troop can help out, please bring items to the council office by March 15. Leaders may also contact Rebecca Thomas ( 251-432-2272 for more information.

Golf is a wonderful lifelong sport for girls and Alabama has some of the best courses in the world! Mobile Girls Golf Club gives girls an affordable opportunity to learn and practice golf. Contact for more information. 

The MLK Day of Service, January 16, 2012, will mark the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Federal Holiday. This milestone is a perfect opportunity for Americans to honor Dr. King's legacy through service. The MLK Day of Service empowers individuals, strengthens communities, bridges barriers, creates solutions to social problems, and moves us closer to Dr. King's vision of a beloved community.


HandsOn South Alabama (formerly Volunteer Mobile) has developed a comprehensive list of volunteer opportunities that you and your girls can choose from for this Day of Service.  Click here for more information.

      Keep Mobile Beautiful is holding the semi-annual Electronics Recycling Event on Saturday, November 5 at the Greater Gulf State Fairgrounds.  

Older girls (Cadettes, Seniors, Ambassadors) are needed to unload cars, distribute materials and collect information. The shift will be from 8:45am-1:15pm and documentation of hours will be provided. 

Contact Carol Conrad: (208-6028) to volunteer.

Camp Scoutshire Woods is in need of a wonderful nurse, who would love to be at camp for a week or two! Dates needed are: June 19-June 24, and/or June 26-July 2. You have the option to be paid staff (pay is modest) or you can volunteer as the camp nurse, and bring one camper (daughter/granddaughter) free for each week that you volunteer. We are looking for an RN, LPN, or emergency first responder licensee. Other positions open are:
  • Boating Director/counselor 17 years or older
  • Lifeguard/counselor 17 years or older
  • Assistant to Horse Director 17 years or older, experienced in working with children and horses
E-mail Woody at  
Kamp Kiwanis is also looking for nurses. Dates needed are: June 19-June 24, and/or July 3-8. You have the option to be paid staff (pay is modest) or you can volunteer as the camp nurse, and bring one camper (daughter/granddaughter) free for each week that you volunteer. We are looking for an RN, LPN, or emergency first responder licensee.
Additional volunteer opportunity:
  • Kitchen Assistant: if you volunteer for a week you can bring a camper for free
E-mail Bossy at

liz_brent.jpgThere's a fine line between encouragement and criticism.  I had a boss who once said, "if you are doing an evaluation, you need to say four positive things for every negative comment so the person can actually hear the negative comments."   But those comments are made to improve performance. As an adult, I can still recall criticism that I felt was unjust or given in error even today. 

It is important to recognize how important our words and deeds are to the children we work with.  Melinda Wilson, our fund development staff person, gave a very poignant thanks to the volunteers attending a spaghetti fundraiser this week. Part of that was a poem written by Ley Cash from the San Gorgonio Girl Scout Council.

A Careful Soul

A careful soul I have to be,

A little Girl Scout follows me.

To a narrow path I must stay,

For if I don't she too will stray.

I must choose my deeds with care.

For all I do, she too, will dare.

My worlds I guard and softly speak

And I must love the strong and the weak.

Oh, I must be fair, from the start.

And boldly lead with a steady heart.

In all I say and all I do.

I promise to strive to be true.

Because you know

Where're I go

A careful soul I have to be.

A little Girl Scout follows me!

These words remind us of how important our words and actions are to the girls we serve, and that in everything we do, we must remember that a little girl always is watching.

In an effort to plan for the future of Girl Scouts in southern Alabama, we are conducting four surveys to gain information from girls, former members, volunteers and parents. Your input can help us plan for a future that meets interests and needs of the girls we serve. 

We estimate that it will take you approximately five to 10 minutes to complete the survey. Please choose the appropriate survey (you may complete more than one survey if you are both a parent and a volunteer), then simply click on the link below, or cut and paste the entire URL into your browser to access the survey. 

We would appreciate your response by Friday, March 18.  Your input is very important to us and will be kept strictly confidential. If you have any questions, or would prefer to complete a paper survey, please call the receptionist at 800-239-6636, ext. 1902.

orange flowers

Image via Wikipedia

The Mobile Museum of Art is looking for volunteers, 14 and older, to help with fun art activities at the Festival of Flowers.  Volunteers will assist art instructors, interact with children to make hats, kaleidoscopes, painting "en plein air," leading a story time about art and artists, helping with a Readers Theatre.  Volunteers will also recruit participants, help set up and put away art materials.

Festival of Flowers is the premier flower and garden event of the greater Gulf Coast.  The festival theme this year is "All Things Bright and Beautiful."  The Museum needs volunteers on Saturday, March 26 from 9:00-5:00 (in 2.5 hour shifts) and Sunday, March 27 11:00 - 6:00 in 2 hour shifts.  Every volunteer will gain free admission to the Festival. 

An event orientation will be held at the museum on Monday, March 21 4:00-5:00.  Volunteers should be 14 and older. For more information about the event contact Howard McPhail, Curator of Education, Outreach at 251-208-5205  or To sign up for one or more shifts, please contact Gail McCain, Volunteer Coordinator at 251-208-5211  or    

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Hase kurz nach der Eiablage

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The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society is having their 3rd Annual Bunny Chase 5K and Family Fun Festival Saturday, April 23, from 8 a.m.-12 p.m. at the Medal of Honor Park in Mobile.

They are looking for some older Girl Scouts to help with face painting and hiding Easter eggs. If you or your troop would like to help, please let Erica Bass, know by Friday, April 15.


Girl Scout troops are also invited to register and run in the 5K or 1-Mile Fun Run.  Register online at

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Be a part of the Thin  Mint Sprint!
Volunteer opportunities still exist for older girls and adults to help make this event a success! Volunteers are needed to pass out water, cheer runners on, help with the Health Expo, and provide an extra hand wherever needed. If you are willing and able to serve, please contact Mary Anne Brutkiewicz (800-239-6636, ext. 1202) by Thursday, February 24.

Editor's Note: Mary Anne "ain't too proud to beg," so if you need some cajoling, just give her a call!

liz_brent.jpgOne of my favorite signs that I found in someone's office when I started here was A GIRL IS WATCHING.   We should all remember that all day every day.   I chatted with our staff about that this week; we always need to think in that context.   When I arrived I heard horror stories about the chaos of cookies.   It is hard to describe to someone who hasn't seen it done, especially from the delivery side of the program.   What I was more surprised at was a call I received about volunteers throwing cookies at each other because of the door they wanted at a Wal-mart.    This didn't happen on just one weekend, but two weekends in a row.   We had some discussion about why this happened; how we could correct it.   But the most important part of that challenge for me is to remind everyone, when it comes to the cookie program A GIRL IS WATCHING.   As we struggle with how to best shape the future generation, we can't be complacent about how our behaviors impact those of the children around us.

All Service Unit Cookie Chairs, Troop Cookie Chairs, and Troop Leaders are invited to attend one of the Cookie Training Conferences listed below.  Get all of the details on the Program and Events calendar.



·         Sunday, November 7 at 1 p.m.

Volunteer Center, Montgomery

·         Sunday, November 7 at 3 p.m.

Volunteer Center, Montgomery

·         Monday, November 8 at 12 p.m.

Volunteer Center, Montgomery

·         Monday, November 8 at 6 p.m.

Volunteer Center, Montgomery

·         Tuesday, November 9 at 6 p.m.


·         Wednesday, November 10 at 10 a.m.


·         Thursday, November 11 at 6 p.m.

Town Hall, Grove Hill

·         Friday, November 12 at 12 p.m.

Volunteer Center, Mobile

·         Friday, November 12 at 6 p.m.

Loxley United Methodist Church, Loxley

·         Saturday, November 13 at 10 a.m.

Volunteer Center, Mobile

20100915drcrlogo.jpgThe Dog River Clearwater Revival (DRCR) is looking for Girl Scout volunteers to participate in a fun community service project to protect Dog River and other waterways from being polluted. The goal of the DRCR is to educate the public about storm drains and their role in keeping pollution out of our waterways.

Their storm drain marker project consists of volunteers gluing small markers onto storm drains that read "No Dumping -Drains to River or Bay". It is simple, and can be done at your troop's convenience. The DRCR will provide all of the needed materials and assign troops to a specific community. This is a great opportunity for girls to help the community and environment while learning valuable lessons about the importance of preserving our waterways. If your troop is interested, please contact Janet Miller, 251-654-1827. Visit their website,, for more information.

Event Helpers are needed for Eco Badge Day, Saturday, October 2, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.  This includes setup and cleanup time; the program itself is from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.   Adult volunteers must be registered and approved Girl Scouts and able to work the entire time required.  In exchange, their daughter will receive free registration to be refunded after the program.  If interested, contact or (334) 272-9164, ext. 2950.  If selected as a volunteer, you will be contacted with additional information.

Sea Gull Hunts for Food

Image by Old Shoe Woman via Flickr

From GSUSA's Blog:

In Florida's Panhandle, The Foster Folly News reports that Girl Scouts from across the Panhandle have released a series of videos aimed at places to visit in the Panhandle - in addition to the beautiful beaches. The Deepwater Horizon oil spill has created a deep impact on the Florida Panhandle's economy and tourism. The videos are currently available to view on the Girl Scouts Council of the Florida Panhandle YouTube Channel.

All videos were created, produced, and directed by Florida Girl Scouts and are definitely worth
checking out. If you have similar stories about Girl Scouts contributing to relief efforts in The Gulf of Mexico, please share!


I found this article on GSUSA's blog, and wondered what Alabama Girl Scouts would say to increase tourism.  We all want to volunteer, and frustratingly there aren't many volunteer opportunities out there for our girls.  BUT!  We certainly could try to help increase tourism, though.  If your troop would like to make a video, we'll be happy to post it on our Youtube channel.  If you need help getting started, contact Molly Smart, ext. 1402.

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With the oil slick approaching, we are receiving inquiries on how to help.  Prior to the oil slick reaching the beaches, the best thing to help is to pick up trash on the beaches.  Once the oil slick gets here, it's considered hazardous waste and requires training to assist. 


Volunteer Dana Jones is coordinating any and all inquiries for Girl Scouts.  If you are interested in volunteering with clean up, contact Dana Jones. She is in contact with the appropriate organizations and has up-to-date and comprehensive information.


Update June 14, 2010

Dauphin Island Sea Lab is now taking donations of Dawn Dishwashing Detergent and "Simple Green" degreaser. Dawn to clean small research vessels, Simple Green to degrease nets. For more information, e-mail


Updated June 24, 2010

Girl Scouts needed to make hair booms!


Girl Scout troops or individual Girl Scouts can make hair booms for use along Mobile Bay.   There is a facility in Fairhope at 254 Greeno Road in the old bowling alley.  It is behind the Pizza Hut and next to the Key West Inn.  The supplies needed are on site, but volunteers are needed to fill stockings with donated hair. 


Contact Victoria Burleson at 251-767-5616 to set up a date and time to meet and make hair booms.


If your troop is planning on volunteering to clean up, please contact Molly Smart at 800-239-6636, extension 1402.

A beach after an oil spill.

Image via Wikipedia

Thank you Girl Scout Volunteer Sandra Grice for sending us this information.  This is a horrible situation, but it could be used to teach our girls about this type of environmental disaster, while learning the importance of community service.

As we all know there is a high probability now that we will be effected by the oil spill off the coast of Louisiana.  As a local environmental organization, Southeastern Wildlife Conservation Group is in contact with US Fish and Wildlife, Alabama Division of Natural Resources and Mobile Bay NEP on a daily basis offering any and all assistance that can be provided. 

At this time we are on standby as these organizations await expert help with this type of environmental disaster and it has been decided what actions will have to be taken.  In an effort to be proactive we would like to go ahead and ask any who would be willing to volunteer their time in the event that a cleanup does occur to go ahead and sign up.  We will make a master list of volunteers and have this available not only for Southeastern Wildlife Conservation Group but also to any of the organizations seeking volunteers.  
Please forward this to any you think would be interested in volunteering their time.  Let's hope and pray these measures will not be needed but at the same time let's be prepared if we do have to act!
To volunteer, contact:
Shannon Ready, volunteer with Southeastern Wildlife Conservation Group

Also, thank you to volunteer Desiree Bishop for letting us know about this volunteer opportunity:

The Environmental Studies Center needs volunteers (minimum age 18) to help with Wildlife Rescue (some activities may include cleaning birds). Call 251-221-5000 and leave your name and phone number if you would like to help.

If your troop is planning on volunteering to clean up, please contact Molly Smart at 800-239-6636, extension 1402.

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You asked, we listened!  We heard you say you wanted to reinstate the VIVA cards, so here they are.  You can go back through the past year (since Oct. 1, 2009), and receive points for all the wonderful things you've done for Girl Scouts.


The 2009-10 VIVA (Very Important Volunteer Appreciation) cards will be available at the service centers during office hours, or you can download them here: Viva2009-10.pdf.


Your Service Unit Manager can sign off on the points you've earned this Girl Scout year. These points may be redeemed in the GSSA shop, anytime prior to Sept. 30, 2010.


Questions or to request a card?  Contact your Volunteer Services Team:

Teri Eversole, extension 1302 


Cheryl Miller, extension 2302

Association II day camp will be held June 14-18 at the Mobile Botanical Gardens.  Volunteer Laura Doran is ready to host this great activity for the girls, but needs 7 volunteers in order to hold the camp.  Volunteers should have either first aid training or leader training.  The day camp runs from 8:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.  Registration forms for the day camp will be available the first of April. 


Please contact Laura if you are interested in volunteering at 251.345.3328.