Front row, from left, are Cynthia Foster (Cherokee), Caryn Backus (Paulding), Carol Oliver (Gwinnett) and Kim Ferrell (Newton). Back row, from left, are Roban Everett (Fulton), Debbie Roth (Fayette), Kippy Shea (DeKalb), Patty Thuon (Fayette) and Wendy Millican (Cherokee). (click for larger version)
December 11, 2013CUMMING, Ga. — Behind every great Girl Scout stands a great adult volunteer who sponsored her.
There are thousands of girls eager to join the program, but the number of adult volunteers to facilitate it is low.
That is why Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta has asked those men and women who wish to have a positive impact on the lives of girls to volunteer.
The membership specialist, Sabrina Nirenberg, said volunteering is not only an opportunity to help girls gain self-confidence and critical thinking skills, but empower them to think they can make a difference in their community.
"We are in need of volunteers who are willing to be committed and go through the training that we provide at no cost to play a sponsor role in our girls' lives," Nirenberg said. "We have to have two non-related adults per troop who can also pass a criminal background check."
Nirenberg said the wide range of activities offer the girls and their volunteers the stable environment to explore their interests without limitations.
Girl Scouts provides the leadership training, which is a program based on charities and course guides.
After training, the volunteers form a troop and start meeting at a time convenient to their busy schedules.
Nirenberg said they can meet as often as once a week to twice a month.
"The times they meet are up to them," Nirenberg said. "We try to allow the volunteers that flexibility."
Even if a leadership role seems too demanding at first, Nirenberg said they have designed the role "troop helper" to allow volunteers to experience the troop life without the full responsibilities.
"It's almost like an internship," Nirenberg said. "We have opportunities for someone who may not want to take on the leadership role in the beginning to mentor and work with other troops to see if that'd be something they are interested in."
Nirenberg said adult volunteers also receive awards like their troop girls.
Roban Everett of Alpharetta received the Pioneer Award for more than seven years of invaluable service in North Fulton.
"From the beginning, we have opportunities for adults to be recognized and thanked," Nirenberg said. "We also have a great networking capacity because we hold monthly meetings for our adult volunteers."
For more information, visit www.gsgatl.org.