Volunteer Spotlight: Gena Baker

Girl Scouts of Colorado is celebrating extraordinary volunteers throughout the state in honor of Volunteer Appreciation Month. Gena Baker in the Western Colorado region is a shining example of the wonderful role Girl Scout volunteers play in the lives of girls and our community.

GSCO asked Gena to answer a few quick questions about her volunteer experience. We hope you find her as inspiring as we did.

Why did you become a Girl Scout volunteer?

I became a Girl Scout volunteer because the leaders of our troop were moving on with their older girls. I’d seen such growth in my daughter that I didn’t want to risk the troop dissolving and her losing the opportunity to continue participating. Also, because I knew that another mom was ready and willing to step up so neither of us would be alone in this journey! I was in Girl Scouts for a few years as a child and I have fond memories of meetings, outings, and camping (all things I want my daughter to have a chance to make friends while doing!).

Tell us about your different volunteer roles as a Girl Scout.

As a Girl Scout volunteer, I wear many hats! Not only is it my role to help organize and maintain records for the troop, but also to interact with the girls, set a positive example, serve as a mentor and teacher, demonstrate positive relationships with other adults in the troop, put on meetings, plan for events, and be a facilitator to help make the girls’ wishes and hopes a reality. In addition to being a member of the TLT, this year I also was a product program manager for fall product program and that was a new layer of responsibility to learn through. It’s been a great experience this year, even through some challenges we’ve faced, and I’m excited to do it again!

What have you learned as a Girl Scout volunteer?

I think the biggest thing I’ve learned as a Girl Scout volunteer is how to be a little more resilient and able to appreciate the differences between individuals. My daughter faced a challenge this year that had me ready to quit. It was actually her perspective on it after the fact that helped me to shift my view, open my mind, and be able to process and move forward. I am so proud of her for sharing her thoughts with me and showing me (and others) her forgiveness and huge heart!

What do you hope girls have learned from you?

My one hope for the girls is that they learned that they are important, their thoughts matter, and they have worth! We learned about becoming citizen scientists this year and I’d love to end the year knowing that the girls left with a better understanding of the impact they’re capable of in this world and that every little piece, every detail, is important to the bigger picture. That’s a big ask, I’m aware, so I’ll be happy knowing that the girls just felt like their time was well spent and they learned something. lol  I’d like them to feel affirmed by us, their friends, their troop family that they are important to us.

Want to nominate a volunteer for Girl Scouts of Colorado to spotlight? Please email Public Relations Director AnneMarie Harper at annemarie.harper@gscolorado.org.