Girl Scouts of Colorado is celebrating extraordinary volunteers throughout the state in honor of Volunteer Appreciation Month. Shauna Hodges of Westminster in the Metro Denver region is a shining example of the wonderful role Girl Scout volunteers play in the lives of girls and our community.
GSCO asked Shauna 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 was a Girl Scout as a girl and always loved my troops. I moved around a lot as a kid and the one consistent activity I always had no matter where I lived was Girl Scouts. When my daughter was in first grade, an email went out for an info night at our school and I figured I’d go check it out. I joke that I was tricked into being a leader because a friend offered to be co-leaders and then called me that night and had to back out herself. We made it work with other parent volunteers and now we have an amazing troop!
Tell us about your different volunteer roles as a GirlScout.
I’m a leader for my troop of fourth grade Juniors, a leader for a newly formed troop with an emphasis on traveling, on our service unit team for Dry Creek 622, and have recently volunteered to become a trainer and utilize my CPR/First Aid Instructor license!
What have you learned as a Girl Scout volunteer?
I’ve learned so much! I love learning about new Girl Scout badges, initiatives like the G.I.R.L Agenda, and all the great things Girl Scouts is providing to girls. I am a teacher by trade, but I love that I have been able to utilize my classroom skills beyond the classroom to make the experience that much greater for the girls. I also finally learned how to make a decent fire, which trust me, for someone who camping is a challenge for, making a fire is a huge accomplishment!
I also learned what it’s like to have a strong Girl Scout family. In October 2017, in the midst of getting our troop going on our last year of Brownies, I was diagnosed with Stage Three breast cancer. Girl Scouts became the one activity I could keep doing with my daughter. It became the way I showed her I was sick, but still okay enough to do things together. I went through 20 weeks of chemo, five weeks of radiation, two major surgeries, and have been receiving an infusion medication every three weeks that will continue for a few more months. Through all of that time, my troop of Girl Scouts, my service unit, and council remained by my side. They sent care packages, dinners, and the sweetest cards I could ever hope for. I went to as many meetings as I could, and the girls were amazing seeing me lose my hair and not look and act like myself. They asked questions, but always in a supportive way. I knew I was part of an amazing Girl Scout family, but I never knew how amazing until I saw how everyone stuck by my side through everything.
What do you hope girls have learned from you?
I hope the girls learn problem solving, leadership, and perseverance. I feel like they shouldn’t be afraid of a situation where things don’t go as planned and should instead take it with grace and figure out how to make the situation a positive experience no matter what. I also hope they learn to see that there are adults in their lives other than their parents who are rooting for them, cheering them on, and wanting the very best for them!
How has your experience as a volunteer helped you become a G.I.R.L. (go-getter, innovator, risk-taker, leader)?
My experience has really helped me to expand what I am comfortable with in many ways. I can organize a camping trip or plan a badge or meeting off the top of my head when things don’t go as planned, help girls solve conflicts between themselves, and show the girls how to balance a wide range of activities.
Want to nominate a volunteer for Girl Scouts of Colorado to spotlight? Please email Public Relations Director AnneMarie Harper at firstname.lastname@example.org.