Girl Scouts of Colorado is celebrating extraordinary volunteers throughout the state in honor of Volunteer Appreciation Month. Laura Ainsworth of Pueblo in the Pueblo and Southeastern CO region is a shining example of the wonderful role Girl Scout volunteers play in the lives of girls and our community.
GSCO asked Laura 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?
Personally, I was not planning to be a Girl Scout volunteer and I was never involved in Girl Scouts growing up. My daughter started the troop because her daughter (my granddaughter) was in two council-ran troops that disbanded and she wanted to continue in Girl Scouts. I used to help my daughter plan the meetings and come up with activities for the girls to do. In the meantime, I got tired of the patches coming off my granddaughter’s vest and fixing them, so I decided to put them on and sew them, so that they did not come off. I offered my services to the other parents in the troop to do this also for their girls, which I continue to do to present. I also do embroidery work, so I make some of the fun patches for the girls to save the troop money. The second year, I became a back up leader, but did not attend much meetings. My daughter left half way through the year, but I continued to help the troop and by the end of the year one of the leaders was moving up with her daughter because no one was trained in Juniors. At that point, the troop was only Daisy and Brownies. I also help balance the checkbook for them and helped them straighten out the cookies and how to put stuff in eBudde for them. The other leader stopped helping, so I stepped up and helped Laurice and from that point on I have been in the forefront working with the girls as a leader. I have stayed with the troop even though my granddaughter did come back and has left the troop since.
Tell us about your different volunteer roles as a Girl Scout.
The different roles I have done in Girl Scout is I am a leader, work with the girls on their badges and Journeys; order badges and Journeys; put on the badges on their vests; plan field trips; manage our troop Facebook account; fall product program manager; troop cookie manager; set up cookie booths; keep track of the bank account; balance the checkbook, which we have an open policy that the girls and parents can look at anytime they want too. I am also a co-signer on the bank account for our service unit bank account and I also balance that checkbook.
What have you learned as a Girl Scout volunteer?
I am normally a shy and quiet person, but I have become a more outgoing, vocal person and willing to try new things.
What do you hope girls have learned from you?
We have a troop with half outspoken girls and half shy and quiet girls. By relating how my experiences were growing up to how I am now, the girls have learned they can accomplish anything they put their minds to. I also hope they have learned to have moral values that they can live by the rest of their lives, which is pretty much the Girl Scout Promise and Law. I also hope they have learned to never stop learning because if you do, you will stop growing into a better person.
How has your experience as a volunteer helped you become a G.I.R.L. (go-getter, innovator, risk-taker, leader)?
- Learning to speak up, take chances, try new things, and set an example to let the girls know that I am nervous at trying something new, but if I can do it they can do it also.
- We learn from each other and grow together.
- Never be afraid to say you don’t know something.
- Try to find the answer.
- Don’t be afraid to listen to the girls because you can learn from them. just as they learn from you.
- Don’t be afraid to let your hair down and be goofy and silly like them.
- Have fun!
Want to nominate a volunteer for Girl Scouts of Colorado to spotlight? Please email Public Relations Director AnneMarie Harper at email@example.com.
The nomination deadline for 2020 Volunteer Recognition Awards is April 30. GSCO invites members statewide to take this opportunity to recognize an outstanding volunteer by nominating them for a Volunteer Recognition Award. Nominators are responsible for ensuring enough endorsements are submitted to support their nomination of a volunteer for an award. Your volunteer support specialist can check nomination and endorsement submissions for you. Learn more.