Tuesday, April 18, 2017

National Volunteer Month: Tanya and Susan

Tanya Burnsworth from South Park has been a leader since 2014 and she loves watching the girls take ownership of a project and have fun with it! She enjoys making meetings and other activities fun for the girls, no matter the topic or task at hand.

A moment Tanya will never forget was one in which her troop was having a debate over a very serious topic: powdered doughnuts!

"The girls argued their points with such seriousness, all along having powdered sugar all over their faces," Tanya said. "We had a good laugh over it and since then, we have always had powered doughnuts during our doughnut debates! Moral of the story, everything can be made fun!"

Tanya hopes her girls can have many opportunities to do adventures they normally wouldn't have if they weren't in Girl Scouts. She wants her girls to gain encouragement from their friends, build good memories, and know "not to let your abilities keep them from trying something new."

Susan Gold from Pittsburgh began as a troop leader in 1982. Over the years, she has volunteered in many different areas in Girl Scouts, such as a Service Unit manager, a delegate for her service unit, and even handling the registration and product sales up until 2014. Susan currently works with a second grade Brownie troop, in which she helps support their outdoor program and product sales. She has had the amazing pleasure of graduating out five troops of girls over the years!

When asked what she likes best about volunteering with Girl Scouts, Susan said, "In these roles, I can try to help others expand their knowledge of the world around them and push themselves to meet their potential. In doing so, I push myself to think about things I might not normally think of, as well as trying new things. To watch the joy in girls' faces as they succeed in doing something new is priceless."

An amazing moment Susan will never forget is when she visited Our Chalet in Switzerland, the first World Centre of the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts, and saw pictures of Lord and Lady Baden-Powell, Juliette Gordon Low, and Helen Storrow in the same place where she was standing. "My 15-year old daughter, who pinches pennies all the time, said to me,'Mom, I don't know what this is costing us to be here, but it's worth every penny.' To feel the wisdom and understand the gifts of those who came before us will always be in my heart."

She hopes her girls learn to be empowered, trust in themselves and their ability to do things, and understand the sisterhood of supporting each other. Susan wants her girls to remember to accept themselves and others and work with their weaknesses and strengths.

"I want them to always know my door is open to them," she said. "I am proud of who they have become on their own journeys."