Monday, September 15, 2014

Volunteer shares favorite hobbies through Girl Scouting

For Girl Scout volunteer Jodi Sando, seeing the joy girls get from mastering a new skill is icing on the cake, especially since Jodi is the one who teaches them how to ice the cake.

Cake decorating is just one of the programs Jodi leads as a volunteer program facilitator. In addition to leading a multilevel troop, Jodi teaches girls cake decorating, outdoor cooking, geocaching, crochet and cross stitch to Girl Scouts through S’more programs by request.

Girls gain confidence from trying new things, and that’s what Jodi enjoys about leading programs. “I love watching them go from nervous about trying something new to excited about what they’ve accomplished,” she said. “I’m so proud of them. Every time.”

Even when things don’t exactly go as planned, girls still have fun and learn important lessons. During one outdoor cooking session, Jodi recalls, the rack in a cardboard oven fell, sending raw eggs sliding in all directions. “There was egg ooze on the picnic table and eggs frying right on the charcoal,” she said. “The girls loved it—they thought it was cool.” They cleaned up, started again, and made sure the cooking rack was secure. “Live and learn!” she said, smiling.

Jodi loves sharing her own skills and hobbies with girls, especially cross stitch and cake decorating. “I feel they are lost arts, so I’m glad they can still learn them in Girl Scouts.” They are also her favorite programs to teach. “Nothing can get burned,” Jodi laughed.

A volunteer for 32 years, Jodi loves the opportunities Girl Scouts offers her. “Girl Scouts keeps me young,” Jodi said. “I do things in Girl Scouts that I wouldn’t do on my own, because the girls want to do them.”

She is impressed with the adventures available to today’s Girl Scouts. Girls can try zip lining, archery, shooting sports, all things Jodi said she would have never considered trying as a child.

“And travel,” Jodi added, “These girls can go anywhere in the world.”

Jodi will travel with Ambassador Girl Scouts from her own troop in 2015 to Savannah, Ga., the birthplace of Girl Scouts founder Juliet Gordon Low. The girls will be presented with their Gold Award pins while visiting the place where Girl Scouting began.

“They are finishing their Girl Scouts years with a great moment,” Jodi said. “I can’t wait.”