Girl Scouting: it’s what this Scottsdale troop leader does

Scottsdale Troop Leader, Diana Laulainen-Schein (submitted photo)

Girl Scouting is simply a way of life for Scottsdale Troop Leader, Diana Laulainen-Schein.

As a girl, Ms. Laulainen-Schein was in Girl Scouts during the time when the highest honor switched from the First Class Award to the Gold Award, so naturally, she earned both.

“I have been a Girl Scout since I was in the first grade,” said Ms. Laulainen-Schein. “After the rest of my girls my age dropped out, I began volunteering as a Troop Leader in high school. I have been with Girl Scouts–Arizona Cactus-Pine Council’s (GSACPC) Troop 2256 since 2003.”

This is quite the legacy and is one that has extended to include both of Ms. Laulainen-Schein’s daughters as well as her two nieces, all of whom have been an active part of Scottsdale’s Pima neighborhood’s Troop 2256.

“I can’t even begin to enumerate the ways in which Girl Scouts has shaped those girls into the women that they have become today,” said Ms. Laulainen-Schein. “Watching them grow as leaders within the program has been amazing, but it comes with its difficulties. It’s so hard to say goodbye to the girls when they graduate, but those moments would not be so difficult had being their leader not been worthwhile.”

Despite the challenge of saying goodbye to the girls she has developed relationships with over the years, Ms. Laulainen-Schein is a firm believer in the benefits of Girl Scouting, both as a girl and as an adult volunteer. It’s been proven that volunteering with the Girl Scouts is a great way to make life-long friends and learn new skills and can even help you live longer. With the addition of the new Bob & Renee Parsons Leadership Center for Girls & Women at Camp South Mountain—an $18 million, year-round, urban program center that is fully ADA accessible—Girl Scout volunteers are needed now more than ever.

Diana Laulainen-Schein as a Brownie (submitted photo)

“I’m a Troop Leader because I enjoy being involved in the community and the camaraderie that I’ve developed with the other leaders,” said Ms. Laulainen-Schein. “Last year, when my father passed away, the two back rows of his funeral service were filled with fellow Girl Scout Troop Leaders. That kind of love and support is a special kind of friendship.”

As a Girl Scout volunteer, adds Ms. Laulainen-Schein, local women have the chance to introduce girls to new experiences and help them unleash their inner G.I.R.L. (Go-getter, Innovator, Risk-taker, Leader) to take the lead and change the world.

“You’ll be their cheerleader, guide, and mentor, helping them develop crucial skills and confidence to launch them into a lifetime of leadership. Imagine the excitement, the memories made, and the impact—this is what you’ll share as a Girl Scout volunteer,” said Ms. Laulainen-Schein.

Inspired to help the Girl Scouts to recruit new leaders this fall and winter, below Ms. Laulainen-Schein provides some fast facts about getting involved as a troop leader and in other ways:

What will I do as a Girl Scout volunteer?

As part of a network of nearly one million adults, you’ll share an important commitment to preparing girls to lead successful lives. A volunteer serves as a partner and role model for girls. In the process, you’ll discover your own skills and abilities, meet new people, and learn through experience.

What are the benefits of volunteering for Girl Scouts?

Girl Scout research shows it is not just girls who benefit from participating in Girl Scouts: 94 percent of volunteers have made new friends, 88 percent believe their life is better because they volunteer with Girl Scouts, and two-thirds believe their volunteer experience has helped them professionally. Also, 95 percent of Girl Scout volunteers are happy knowing they are making girls’ lives better.

Is there a way to volunteer “sometimes?”

Yes! Extra adults are always needed for trips and special events, as well as for Girl Scout Cookie activities.

Is there a screening process?

Yes. To ensure the safety and well-being of our girl members, all volunteers are required to complete a background check prior to becoming involved.

How do I sign up?

Simply visit www.girlscoutsaz.org and click “Volunteer” to get started helping out in your own backyard!

Editor’s Note: Breanne Krager is a public relations specialists.

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