Girl Scouts of Colorado is celebrating extraordinary volunteers throughout the state in honor of Volunteer Appreciation Month. Girl Scout Gold Award mentor Kathi Reddan in the Pikes Peak region is a shining example of the wonderful role Girl Scout volunteers play in the lives of girls and our community.
GSCO asked Kathi 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 originally became a volunteer because my daughter was involved. After she graduated, I continued because I enjoyed working with friends as co-leaders. Also, I saw volunteering as a way to use my educational skills.
Tell us about your different volunteer roles as a Girl Scout.
Originally, I helped my daughter’s leader in various ways. When she joined a multi-level troop when she was older, some of the older girls asked if I would consider becoming a leader. I felt as if they wanted me specifically rather than a warm body. After she graduated from high school, I took training to become a trainer, as well as continuing as a leader. When my friends, who were co-leaders moved out of state, I decided this was a good time to step down from the leader/advisor role. Soon after, in 2006, the staff person in charge asked if I would join the Gold Award Committee. I have continued on the committee since then, except for taking a year off to figure out what I wanted to focus on. At the end of that year, I decided to focus on being a Gold Award mentor rather than training.
What have you learned as a Girl Scout volunteer?
Both as a leader of older girls as well as being a Gold Award mentor, I’ve learned about the great capabilities of older girls. Several girls have shown me that they really can do things on their own, or with advice from adults, but with the girl leading the way.
I’ve been reminded that one needs to consider the needs and abilities of each girl, especially as a mentor. My educational background is in special education and I have been able to use those skills as a leader and as a Gold Award mentor. I’ve learned in what settings I work best. Working as part of a team I can do my part, but get support from others. I really enjoy working one-to-one with the girls as a mentor.
What do you hope girls have learned from you?
I hope that the girls I have mentored have learned that I’m here to support them, not lead them step-by-step. They are the ones with the ideas and they need to run with the idea. Often they learn how much they can really accomplish. This is most important as a Gold Award mentor, but also for being an older girls advisor.
Want to nominate a volunteer for Girl Scouts of Colorado to spotlight? Please email Public Relations Director AnneMarie Harper at firstname.lastname@example.org.