Thank goodness for volunteers! A talented journalist and funny lady Erma Bombeck once said, “Volunteers are the only human beings on the face of the earth who reflect this nation's compassion, unselfish caring, patience, and just plain love for one another.” They come from all walks of life and backgrounds. Kevin Wilkinson, retired from the military, has been a Girl Scout volunteer since his first daughter, Olivia, joined in 2010. The family decided it would be a family affair and everyone got a role and turn to have fun.
“Being in the military, my wife and I had the expectation that this would be a great opportunity to get her involved in something that she could do wherever we were assigned,” he said. “I’m not much of a watcher. After our first troop dissolved shortly after joining, we were fortunately quickly assigned to another troop that was multi-level. The leader was managing a troop with everything from Daisy to Ambassador. She had very little parent support. When I asked how I could help, she quickly put me to work helping the Daisies earn their petals. Other parents followed when they noticed how much fun I was having teaching the girls to read, understand and start living the Girl Scout Promise and Law. Soon we had a full cadre of parents and the leader was able to float between the “troops” to keep everyone on track.”
After having a great experience as a troop volunteer, Kevin went on to become a service unit treasurer for Service Unit 340 in Chesapeake, helping other troop volunteers, and he also helped start the annual Cookie Classic Run that will be in its 10th year in 2023. We know there are Girl Scout dads who want the best for their daughters, just like Kevin, but wanting something and taking action to make it a reality are two very different things. As Kevin said, it may require you to get involved and step away from the sidelines.
Research shows that a girl’s relationship with her father lays the foundation for her confidence and her future relationships and expectations of men. A world in which we all contribute to helping girls reach their bright, bold potential is a better world for everyone. Girls need (and want!) their dads and father figures in their lives just as much as they need their mothers and female mentors.
“The Girl Scout journey has been very good to me,” Kevin said. “I have watched my girls Olivia and Kaitlyn grow, develop and begin to shoulder responsibility. They have also learned so very much about teamwork, levels of effort, and planning. It has been super gratifying to see all of the girls change from giggly little girls into very productive and smart young women. The benefits lie in the relationships that are formed. I am incredibly proud of each of the girls as if they were my own. Watching them develop their interpersonal and outdoor skills has been a gift that I will forever be grateful for. Girl Scouts has helped prepare Olivia for college. What a fantastic benefit!”
Kevin, thanks for doing your part, and for helping your daughters and so many other girls be the best they can be!
Co-leader of Daisy Troop 398 was on hand for the first ever carrier USO Afloat.
From cookies to awards projects, Jon is there with a smile and a helping hand.