Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Volunteer spotlight: Mom loves watching girls build confidence, try new things

Tonia Seese and members of her Junior troop.
Tonia Seese was a Girl Scout as a child and recalls staying overnight at camp and sleeping in a tent unit. She remembers that the staff were from other countries. "One was from England and I loved her accent," she said. "I still to this day try to talk like her."

Now as a Girl Scout troop leader, Tonia is making lasting memories with her group of Juniors, which also includes her daughter Addison.

In her sixth year as a volunteer, Tonia started as a cookie mom in Ohio. After she moved to Pennsylvania, she became a troop co-leader. Now Tonia serves as a troop leader, service unit cookie and MagNut manager and delegate.

"I love leading my daughter's troop," Tonia said. "The girls teach me just as much as I teach them."

She enjoys watching the girls experience new things and have adventures in Girl Scouting.  During the service unit's Survivor Camp last summer, the girls learned archery, shelter building, first aid, made walking sticks and competed in an obstacle course. 

Tonia also appreciates the confidence that girls build in Girl Scouts. Last year her troop participated in the work weekend at Hawthorne Ridge and two girls were a little hesitant to stay the night at camp. 

"I told them they could just come for the day and both of them ended up calling home to ask if they could stay the night," she said.  "I love those moments when they show they are courageous and brave."

Like many volunteers, Tonia's biggest challenge as a troop leader is time. Many of her Girl Scouts are highly involved in sports and extra-curricular activities, but Tonia makes it work with careful planning. "We try our hardest to plan around as much as possible so they all can continue being involved in the troop." 

Our volunteers ROCK!

Without volunteers like Tonia, girls wouldn’t have the confidence-building, life-changing experiences that Girl Scouts offers. Thank you to all our volunteers for all you do to ensure girls’ futures are bright!