It’s important for volunteer Melanie Hansen to instill in girls the idea that they are part of a larger community and that it is their responsibility to help make the world a better place. “By living the Girl Scout Law throughout their lives, they can make a difference,” she says.
Melanie became a volunteer with Girl Scouts Western Pennsylvania because she enjoyed being a Girl Scout when she was younger and wanted to share that same experience with her daughter, and eventually, her granddaughter. She said, “that joy I found while participating in Girl Scouts has never left me. The bonding and memories with my daughter and granddaughter are priceless.”
It’s difficult for Melanie to choose just one Girl Scout memory as her favorite, but she says her favorite times include camping, singing around the campfire, scavenger hunt hiking, and the funniest – picking camp names! Her favorite service project was collecting pennies for the replacement of the Abraham Lincoln statue in Wilkinsburg.
Melanie says one of her favorite aspects about volunteering is watching the progression of girls over the years, especially Brownies, who are so excited about becoming a Girl Scout and earning badges. “When you create an environment of inclusion, encouragement to try a new skill or learn something new, and championing each girl, you start to see their newfound confidence and leadership skills begin to emerge.”
Her advice for new volunteers is to plan ahead and leave extra room in your planning schedule. She says creating a two-year plan in the summer prevents repeating badges as new girls enter a troop. Melanie tries to hold a learning meeting followed by a fun event. Above all, her best piece of advice is this: “Mostly, have fun!”
Happy National Volunteer Month!
Check out this video message from the staff at Girl Scouts Western Pennsylvania.
Looking for more ways to celebrate our volunteers?
👉 Volunteer Appreciation Resources