As we celebrated Labor Day this weekend, I reflected on all those who labor for Girl Scouts to give our 3,500 Girls a better path forward. I certainly celebrate the amazing EWNI staff who believe in our mission to the core and set the bar high for nonprofits. Another part of the equation is our Girl Scouts who work hard to accomplish their leadership journey. A final part of the equation is our volunteers, over 1,500 strong in our Council.
What drives them? It certainly is not the pay nor the convenience or ease of the job. Many of our volunteers took international trips with their troops this summer. While exciting, the labor of chaperoning 10 or so Girls overseas is not be understated. So what drives our volunteers to raise their hand and lead: it is clearly a labor of love for our mission. Our volunteers know when Girls succeed, society succeeds. They give their all for that goal. This is an important fact to highlight because our volunteers make our mission go. Retention, satisfaction and overall evolution as a Girl Scout depends on the volunteer leader shepherded by staff support. The entire Girl Scout model is dependent on this model and as society changes, we may need to relook the model to ensure sustainability. But for now, this model supports a vital mission.
Take volunteer Dianne Macduff of Tricities, for example. This weekend, she is going to a Girl Scout Roundup in Vermont, a reunion of an original Girl Scout Roundup she visited back in 1965. She was a Girl Scout then and what she learned has propelled her forward to continue to be an adult educator for other volunteers today. Dianne is emblematic of so many other volunteers in our Council who labor for Girl Scouts because they identify with us and love the mission. It is a labor of love. Fortunately, she cares as deeply for our mission then as she does today. That is why we will succeed...because of volunteers like this.
I am fond of saying that teachers deserve teacher appreciation every day of the year, not just in May, the normal month of appreciating teachers. So should it be for our volunteers. We need you, we appreciate you, we owe you each Gold Stars. So, I proclaim this September Volunteer appreciation month, as I will every month of the year. We will succeed in our mission because of our volunteers' labor of love. Labor Day or no Labor Day, we will not rest.
-Brian Newberry, GSEWNI CEO