Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Guest Post: Why I Volunteer for Girl Scouts

Nov. 21 is National Family Volunteer Day - and in Girl Scouts, there is no shortage of amazing families volunteering together to make our mission possible! Jo and David Miller are just one of the families in GSSJC that help make Girl Scouting a reality for so many in their area. 

Their children might be grown - and have kids of their own! - but that doesn't stop Jo and David from hauling 600 cases (not boxes - cases!) of Girl Scout Cookies into their home every year as they serve as their area's Cookie Cupboard. The Miller's received the Family Award earlier this year for their dedication to our Council. Read on as Jo shares why she and David started volunteering in Girl Scouts - and why they continue to do so!

David and Jo Miller
By Jo Miller
GSSJC Volunteer

When I became a Brownie 68 year ago and pulled my “great big Brownie smile” out of the pocket of my little brown dress, I didn’t know that a lifetime of Girl Scout experience was in my future. My parents were great role models as troop leaders and camping supporters. As our children grew, my husband David and I became active volunteers for Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts.

As we moved from place to place, we learned that scouting was a place to make new friends, find a place in the community and serve as leaders and volunteers. While living in Kingsville, Texas, the district Boy Scout executive and his family moved in next door. It didn’t take long before David was a volunteer trainer for Cub Scout Packs before we had a boy in the family.

This is what 600 cases of Girl Scout Cookies look like
when packed into a living room!
When we lived in Andrews, Texas, our home was the cupboard for thousands of cases of Girl Scout Cookies for the whole town. Cookies reached the ceiling and filled every inch of our large family room. The smell of cooking burritos lingered in the house as our Senior Girl Scouts earned funds for troop events by running the concession stand for the Little League Park. We loaded girls in our suburban and put footlockers on top to make the trek to Miter Peak. Our daughters had camping adventures and Wider Opportunities in the United States and in India with the help of their cookie money. Our children all volunteer for their own children in Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts now.

After retirement we found more time to help with the Cookie Distribution Center and the office at the Permian Basin Council Office in Midland, Texas. In the Odessa office, I learned how to enter membership data on the computer. When we moved to Conroe, it seemed like the right thing to do to find Girl Scout volunteer opportunities – that’s how we became a Cookie Cupboard! Our children and grandchildren help us move furniture and rearrange the house to accommodate 600 cases of cookies. It is truly a family event.

Hauling cookies is hard work! Right Jo?
Volunteering has great rewards:

Girl Scouts are helpful. When David had surgery with serious complications, Girl Scout families provided our evening meals for several weeks.

Girl Scouts are fun and creative. I love the moment when a little Girl Scout wrapped her arms around me and said, “I want to grow up to be an old Girl Scout just like you.”

Girl Scouts are great friends. It is such fun to get unexpected hugs and greetings while shopping around town.

Girl Scouts are appreciative. The Family Award we received earlier this year was a great honor.

The Miller's Cookie Cupboard sign that goes up
every year.
We will be approaching 76 years of age when we get the Cookie Cupboard sign down from the attic in 2013. We know there will be moments of frustration with the computer records, but we also know the professionals at GSSJC can rescue us. We know there will be long days and weary bodies, but there will be strong and friendly drivers to help move the cookie cases where they need to go. We know that each day during the Cookie Sale we will meet great women and their daughters.

We encourage each of you to find a volunteer opportunity that uses your talents and skills. It is a benefit to your community, to the girls, to the parents and, most of all, to you to become a volunteer in Girl Scouts.

If you know a volunteer with a great story or if your troop has done an exciting, unique activity we want to hear about it! Send an email to communications@sjgs.org.