Girl Scout volunteer pens op-ed: The Value of Girl Scouting

In today’s society, there is always so much talk about the importance of volunteering. I have always valued the importance of volunteers. In my childhood, I remember the people in my life that helped me, and also saw firsthand what could have been if there were volunteers.  As an adult, I try to volunteer as much as I can, but when I started volunteering with Girl Scouts it became something more than volunteering; it became part of my DNA.

I became involved with Girl Scouts in 2011. My daughter heard about Girl Scouts in her school and from a neighbor, and she instantly felt the call to join Girl Scouts. I grew up overseas and did not have any prior experience with Girl Scouts. We were invited to join a troop, and after attending the first meeting with my daughter, I was hooked! I immediately became cookie manager and that was the beginning of my seven years of volunteering with Girl Scouts.

I find myself more involved with Girl Scouts than ever as a co-leader and a volunteer in my local service unit. Despite the time demand with other aspects of my life (family, work and school) I help host events for Girl Scouts in my town and recruit new girls to join Girl Scouting. I make time for Girl Scouts because it has positively affected our lives in many ways. I have learned so much about myself and as a mom in the process. Girl Scouts created (and still creates) opportunities to spend time with daughter in a female-empowered environment. Together, my daughter and I learned that we can plan and achieve our goals. We learned about persistence and to be true go-getters and problem-solvers, especially when things don’t go as planned! We continue to meet amazing women and girls who have now become part of our family. Girl Scouts has become a norm in our lives, and became even more important when we moved from the West Coast to the East Coast. Girl Scouting continued to give us the opportunity to meet new friends, and continue our work without missing a beat.

The most rewarding part of being a volunteer is witnessing the girls grow in confidence and sisterhood. They look out for each other. My daughter showcases all that she’s learned from Girl Scouts in her everyday life. Right now, she is going door-to-door selling Girl Scout Cookies. She came home happy as she could be saying how much she loves selling cookies and connecting with her cookie customers. Where else other than Girl Scouts can you say that your 12-year-old daughter runs a cookie business? Thank you, Girl Scouts, for all that you do for my family and for girls across the country. I look forward to many more years of volunteering with this amazing organization.

By Maria Miller, Girl Scout volunteer, Ellington, CT