Girl Scouts of Colorado is celebrating extraordinary volunteers throughout the state in honor of Volunteer Appreciation Month. Amberly Petty of Meeker 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 Amberly 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?
My daughter started begging to be a Girl Scout around the age of four. At that point, I’m pretty sure she was just in it for the cookies. Once she started kindergarten, I registered her and asked the local troop leader if she needed any help. Soon after, I was thrown unexpectedly into the world of Girl Scouts: camp outs, songs, field trips, badge work, and the Promise and Law. What started as just wanting a bit of extra bonding time with my daughter turned into finding a community and an organization that truly aligns with my values and morals. While growing up, I did not have the opportunity to be in this sisterhood, so now I am making up for lost time. I’m excited for the possibilities that await not only me, but my daughter and our troop. I want to not only be a living example of our Law and Promise, but also instill these values in all girls and help shape the leaders of tomorrow.
Tell us about your different volunteer roles as a Girl Scout.
I’m currently serving as a co-leader for our troop. During my first year, I also jumped in to serve as the fall product program manager and a co-cookie manager. I am excited to see where my journey will take me and plan to continue to serve in different capacities. In time, I would love to one day help lead trainings for new leaders.
What have you learned as a Girl Scout volunteer?
Wow. I can’t possibly list all the things I’ve learned as we’d be here for hours… Some of the most recent things that come to mind are patience and conflict resolution. Being a leader has been incredibly rewarding, but there have also been many challenges as well. Learning to work with so many people (girls and adults) has been difficult, intriguing, and fun. There are so many different leadership styles, skills sets, strengths, and weaknesses that it can be overwhelming at times. I’m learning to do many things differently than I may have planned or expected, which is truly rewarding and extremely worthwhile. One of the other most impactful things I’ve learned is that this really is a girl-led program: even our youngest girls can lead in huge ways. The girls surprise me at every meeting with something new to learn.
What do you hope girls have learned from you?
First and foremost, I hope the girls have learned I am their ally, partner, equal, and friend. I hope they see me as a safe person and resource for them to come to if they need help or have questions. I hope they view me as someone they can feel comfortable around. I hope they have learned that mistakes are okay and just the building blocks of larger successes. I hope they’ve learned that silliness is a large part in the recipe for happiness and fun. And, I hope they’ve learned that we are a team, a sisterhood, and will work together through fun times and challenging times.
How has your experience as a volunteer helped you become a G.I.R.L. (go-getter, innovator, risk-taker, leader)?
These girls have and are still shaping me into things I never thought possible for myself. They helped me set large goals for this year’s cookie season that I thought were impossible. I watched them prove me wrong week after week. They pushed me outside of my own comfort zone to be a go-getting risk-taker, while innovating new ways to sell and have fun. The girls in my troop push me to be the best leader I can be. They ask intriguing questions, keep me on my toes, and allow me room to be myself and make mistakes at times, too. I’m forever grateful for the person they are molding me into and I can only hope I am impacting them half as much as they are impacting me.
Want to nominate a volunteer for Girl Scouts of Colorado to spotlight? Please email Public Relations Director AnneMarie Harper at firstname.lastname@example.org.