By: Jesse Cook, Media Intern
What goes into being a Girl Scout volunteer? What are the hardest parts? What are the joys?
It can be an intimidating time – becoming a volunteer for any organization. Sometimes you’re not quite sure what you’re doing or what you’re getting yourself into. That’s why we put together this monthly blog series. We are going to follow a relatively new volunteer throughout her Girl Scout volunteer experience. That way you can see first-hand what it is like to volunteer with the Girl Scouts. So grab your friends, sit back, and experience first-hand the experience of a Girl Scout volunteer.
We last checked in with Andrea Decker from Endicott in May when her girls finished camping and working on their hiker and letter boxer badges. They were in the process of planning their final meeting and bridging ceremony.
Andrea’s troop used their last meeting to plan and make signs for the upcoming bridging ceremony. They also decided where they wanted to go for the end of year party. Every year the girls choose where they want to go with some of their cookie sale earnings. Last year they had a movie party at Cinema Saver, which Andrea says she “would highly suggest to other troops. The cost was low and you could pick your own movie.” This year, the girls wanted to do something different. They chose Skate Estate for a day of mini-golf, roller skating, laser tag, and the water slide. They haven’t set a date yet, but know it will be sometime in July.
After the final meeting, Andrea completed the financial report which she said, “was not as bad as I thought it would be. The Excel spreadsheet was very helpful.” Her co-leader kept all of the bank statements and receipts organized throughout the year, which made the task a lot easier as well.
The girls had their Bridging ceremony with three other troops at lower Highland Park which has a bridge surrounded by trees and a pavilion nearby. It was nice for the younger girls to watch the older ones bridge and vice versa. Andrea’s troop bridged from Girl Scout Brownies to Juniors. A little bit was said about their year and each girl as they crossed, and then the girls each held a sign with a letter on the front that together spelled “Junior!” The girls spoke in front of a large crowd by each saying one thing that they liked about Brownies. Andrea says, “They shared [that] they were a bit nervous, but after they felt really proud that they did that.”
After all of the troops bridged, they each had a smaller troop gathering where the girls received their badges, cookie rewards, and certificates from this year. After receiving their awards, the girls enjoyed some treats and played on the playground. The troops all split the responsibilities of bringing fruit, drinks, paper products, cake, and other desserts which kept the costs down for each group.
Andrea’s troop is already looking ahead to next year. All eight girls plan on coming back and the troop is in the process of Early Bird registration which they will pay for with some of their cookie money. Andrea says they did not ask for dues this year, but are thinking of implementing a one-time $20 fee to help cover some of the activities that they would like to do next year. The troop has discussed tackling their first Journey and working towards their Bronze Award.
The troop is finished for the year aside from their end of year party, but the girls have agreed that it would be nice to get together over the summer because September “would be too long without seeing each other.” Obviously, it was a successful year.