In honor of Volunteer Appreciation Month, Girl Scouts of Colorado is celebrating extraordinary volunteers throughout the state. Melissa Palka in the Pikes Peak region is a lifetime Girl Scout and a leader for Troop 40910. She is a very dedicated volunteer who juggles her medical career, family, and her Girl Scout leadership role with a lot of energy and grace. Melissa is very highly spoken of by her peers and is well loved by the girls she leads. We asked her to answer a few questions about her experiences as a Girl Scout volunteer. We hope you find her story as inspiring as we did!
How long have you been a Girl Scout?
I have been a Girl Scout for 27 years, 11 as a Girl Scout, 16 as a leader.
Why did you become a Girl Scout volunteer?
I became a Girl Scout volunteer because I believe in the Girl Scout mission. I want to assist you ladies in recognizing, and achieving their maximal potential.
Tell us about your different volunteer roles as a Girl Scout.
I have had the privilege of holding various leadership positions. I have worked in outreach multi-level troops at Boys and Girls clubs, military posts, and in the community. I currently am a Brownie troop leader.
What have you learned as a Girl Scout volunteer? What do you hope girls have learned from you?
As a Girl Scout volunteer, I have learned many things. Girl Scouts teaches me new things often. I have learned organization, communication, and leadership skills. Most important lesson I have learned: let the girls lead!
I hope the girls have learned: this world is full of amazing opportunities, believe in yourself, be persistent while working hard, and you will be successful.
What is your favorite Girl Scout memory?
My favorite Girl Scout memory was a trip to Our Chalet in Switzerland, where me met international Girl Guides, hiked in the Swiss Alps, and traveled to various cities in Europe. What an incredible experience!
What words of advice do you have for other volunteers?
Words of advice for volunteers: use a planner to stay organized, communicate often with parents (I love email updates), value Girl Scout input in the planning, you do NOT have to coordinate everything as the leader, have fun and the girls will too!
Want to nominate a volunteer for Girl Scouts of Colorado to spotlight? Please email Public Relations Director AnneMarie Harper at firstname.lastname@example.org.