Watching girls grow into responsible, service-minded young women is Heather Balas’s favorite part about volunteering with Girl Scouts. “It is incredibly rewarding to watch these young girls grow and to know that you had a small part in that,” she said.
When Heather’s oldest daughter expressed interest in joining Girl Scouts, Heather signed her up and volunteered to help. She’s now been volunteering with Girl Scouts Western Pennsylvania for seven years, taking on troop leader and service unit manager roles in Jamestown. She’s been a day camp volunteer, troop cookie manager, troop MagNut manager, troop treasurer, service unit cookie manager, service unit MagNut manager, service unit treasurer, and council delegate.
Heather was a Girl Scout in Greenville and said going to camp was her favorite thing to do. Now as a volunteer, she still enjoys being involved in the organization. “Girl Scouts offers wonderful opportunities and provides many levels of support to help leaders and girls,” she said.
The biggest challenge Heather has faced as a volunteer is keeping families engaged. For her, being organized and connecting with families early and often is key. She starts the year with a full schedule for families and sends out reminders as activities come up. “Keeping the girls enjoying their time in Girl Scouts helps too!”
Her advice for new volunteers is to ask for help. “So many great leaders are doing amazing work and are willing to share ideas and resources. I love getting to know the families involved in Girl Scouts!”