click here for Elena's first guest post.
By Elena McCreery
Promise Project Steering Committee Chair
Since I began my involvement with The Promise Project several
months ago, I have had the opportunity to talk with a number of groups
throughout our Council. These volunteers have listened to the direction of this
work; some have embraced it wholeheartedly with enthusiasm and some with
trepidation. But everyone has
acknowledged that we need to do something—our current structure is working in
very few areas of our council and certainly not thriving.
Why am I committed to this project? I believe in Girl Scouts—it changes
lives. As an 18 year volunteer with
GSSJC, I have worked with many girls in two troops; on Girl Planning Boards for
numerous events, as an advisor for several Silver Awards, and more. This has provided me with a front row seat to
the self-confidence and leadership skills our organization can give to our
members. All of the girls from my troops
are now in college or starting out as young professionals in new jobs. I have watched these girls grow into competent
and self-assured young women, and I know their time in Girl Scouts has given
them the life skills to be successful.
believe we must position our council to be able to offer this opportunity to
every girl in our 26 counties so that they can have the courage, confidence,
and character to make the world a better place.
I have also seen firsthand the changing lives of our
volunteers over these 18 years. We have
so many dedicated women and men who are leading and advising Girl Scout troops,
interest groups and other programs, in addition to raising families, working
full-time and handling all that life throws in their direction. I see and understand the need for more
volunteers to share the burden of a structure that was designed for a very
Life now moves at a very
different pace, and it is time for us to be an organization that can fully
support our volunteers who are overwhelmed by that “one more thing” we keep
asking them to take on.
As a movement we have experienced a lot of change in the past few
years. I know change, and especially the
unknown, can be scary and exciting at the same time.
When the girls in my troop
were little, before we embarked on a field trip I would tell them to hold hands
with their buddy and stay together so we could have a fun adventure. As the girls got older and were tackling
things a bit more challenging, such as boarding a train that was already six
hours late for our trip to New Orleans, or as they began a day of program they
had planned for the women and children of a homeless shelter, I reminded them
that we had prepared well, we were Girl Scouts, and together we could
As we go through
the next 18 months or so, I want you to remember that you can hold hands with a
buddy if you need to, but we have prepared well, we are Girl Scouts, and
together we can accomplish anything.