Friday, April 21, 2017

National Volunteer Month: Christy and Kim

Christy Uffelman tree climbing at Camp Skymeadow with her troop.
"I am scared of heights, but knew if my girls were doing it, I had to also!"
Christy Uffelman from Pittsburgh has been involved with Girl Scouts for more than 30 years, as a Girl Scout in high school, a camp counselor, serving on various committees, and now, an assistant troop leader for her daughter's Cadette troop.

When asked what she likes best about her role with Girl Scouts, Christy said, "I'd love to say that it's the opportunity to inspire and empower our next generation of fierce women, but the truth is, being with them inspires me."

She loves watching them being courageous and confident when making a case to ask for what they want, disciplined and hardworking when working on a service project, and creative and bold planning their next steps to impact their community and each other's lives. "I watch them in the quieter moments, too, when someone is having a tough time, how they encircle her and show their support," she said.

She hopes her girls learn how this experience will shape them into the amazing women and leaders they will become. She hopes they learn it is okay to fail, but to improve upon those failures.

Personally, Christy learned the "value of authentic connection. Not to just give to others, something most people think about when they think of Girl Scouting, but also how to receive."

"I learned how to be on the other side, to allow others to care for me. After all, that's what is at the heart of being human," Christy said. "No one has ever made it through life without the help of others. Girl Scouting is a magnificent web that has supported me and will always be a part of who I am."

A huge aspect of Girl Scouts is being willing to try and learn new things. That is exactly what volunteer Kim Watson from Austin hopes her girls learn and remember from their Girl Scout experience. Kim has been volunteering for 13 years now and loves watching the girls grow and accomplish many different types of tasks.

She will never forget the hard work her Daisy troop put into for a food drive. "They were so proud of the pyramid of food they collected for the food bank drive," Kim said. "They all worked so hard boxing all of it up." Kim loves seeing how her girls can relate to their own community and know they can make a difference.