Girl Scouts of Colorado is celebrating extraordinary volunteers throughout the state in honor of Volunteer Appreciation Month. Valerie Paulson 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 Valerie 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 never got the chance to be a Girl Scout when I was young. I don’t think it was on my mom’s radar for whatever reason. Having two girls, though, it seemed like a good idea to look into what Girl Scouts could offer them. I found a troop for my older daughter and she was doing some really amazing things. When my younger daughter bridged up to Brownies, I wanted her to have the same great experiences. That’s when I stepped up.
Tell us about your different volunteer roles as a Girl Scout.
First, just a parent going on an overnight trip and bringing snacks to meetings. I arranged a backstage tour once at the theater production of ‘Willy Wanka’ that the girls enjoyed. When our former leader got a fulltime job, though, I took on leading my younger daughter’s multi-level troop.
What have you learned as a Girl Scout volunteer?
I really appreciate the programming and organization of Girl Scouts. Each level has programming designed for the developmental needs and interests of a girl at the level, ready made. And yet, it is still flexible depending on the individuals in the troop. So, I have learned what to anticipate as my girls get older by looking ahead; I have recognized things I should encourage in my girls based on the programming for their level; I have been surprised at interests I didn’t know they had because of some badge work they did. I’m learning about my girls because of Girl Scouts.
What do you hope girls have learned from you?
I get great feedback from parents who have appreciated the work I put into badges and activities, keeping it fresh and fun. They are always surprised I wasn’t a Girl Scout myself. I hope the girls appreciate it too when they are older looking back and decide to give a little of the same when they are given the opportunity to lead the next generation of girls. And I hope my own girls stay the course through Ambassador level, too. I believe in what Girl Scouts does. They empower girls. Each girl in my troop, and in my house, has so much to offer the world.
Want to nominate a volunteer for Girl Scouts of Colorado to spotlight? Please email Public Relations Director AnneMarie Harper at firstname.lastname@example.org.