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Mona Tolbert

Like mothers, non-traditional Girl Scout leaders help nurture the girls they serve

GSSJC honors volunteers without daughters who are committed to the Girl Scout movement

HOUSTON (April 26, 2011) – Since 1912, Girl Scouts has built girls of “courage, confidence and character, who make the world a better place.” Girl Scout volunteers are a diverse group of women (and men) whose expertise, skills, interests and life experiences nurture each girl’s individuality and leadership qualities. In the traditional sense, these volunteers serve as leaders of their daughter’s or granddaughter’s Girl Scout troop. However, many non-traditional volunteers aren’t biologically connected to the girls they serve, but are instead bonded by their love of Girl Scouting and its movement. This Mother’s Day, the Girl Scouts of San Jacinto Council (GSSJC) honors those non-traditional volunteers whose commitment to nurture Houston-area girls is a true testament to the mission of Girl Scouts.

Galleria-area resident Eve Buckler, a married mother of two sons, was never a Girl Scout, but that didn’t deter her from immersing herself in the Girl Scout culture. She started a troop at Grady Middle School, where she served as a volunteer for its after-school program. Later, after the girls in her troop had moved on to high school, Eve started a high school troop to encourage the girls to continue with Girl Scouts and to work on their Girl Scout Gold Awards, the highest honor a girl can earn.

“[Being a leader] is hard work, but I have grown to be a mentor for so many girls,” said Eve. “I think the girls speak openly in the troop about issues many of them have never discussed, not even to many adults. So, while I encourage the girls to discuss tough issues with their parents, I do believe I have a very open relationship with the girls and offer a time and a place for them to address issues they face, together.”

Brookshire resident Alyson Baird has been a Girl Scout volunteer for just under a year. Alyson started as a multi-level troop leader in which she managed a group of troop leaders and oversaw their troop’s activities. Alyson is also a commissioned civil engineering officer in the Texas Air National Guard and a Girl Scout alumna who wanted to continue Girl Scouting as a high school student, but the school she was attending did not offer any troops to join.

“I love working with the girls and teaching them new things,” said Alyson. “I am teaching them about values, about the importance of volunteering and offering them opportunities that they might not get had they not been a Girl Scout.”

Alyson continues by saying that she feels like she is a mother to her Girl Scouts, because she teaches them new activities and helps to inspire their ideas and what they will be doing in their futures.

“Every meeting with the girls is different and they love having other adults in their lives that want to take the time to help them grow as a person,” said Alyson. “I believe I do that for them.”

Conroe resident Denise Graham was a Girl Scout Brownie, but got heavily involved with Girl Scouts as an adult, through her church. Her journey began in 2005 as a troop co-leader. She then went on to be a leader and eventually the Service Unit Manager for her area.

“[Being involved with Girl Scouts] has been a rewarding experience and I love watching the girls think through a project and come up with an answer,” said Denise. “I don’t think of myself as a mother, but I do try to help guide the girls to make the right choices.”

About Girl Scouts of San Jacinto Council

Girl Scouts of the USA is the world's preeminent organization for girls, with a membership of more than 3.7 million girls and adults. Girl Scouting builds girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place. Chartered by GSUSA to provide Girl Scouting locally, Girl Scouts of San Jacinto Council is one of the largest Girl Scout councils in the country serving more than 76,000 girls served and nearly 18,000 adult members in 26 southeast Texas counties.

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