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Sunday, June 30, 2013

Age Doesn't Matter at GE!

Sarah/Fluke writes:  I’ve been a volunteer with Girl Scouts since my first year of college - and I can honestly say that the Great Escape is the only place where I was accepted without question as an adult volunteer by people older than I am. As a troop leader, I was told by older volunteers that I was too young to be trusted with running a troop. As a facilitator, I was told that I was just not old enough to understand an adult’s rhythm of life (yes, those were the exact words used - I remember them to this day!). As a Service Unit Coordinator, I was told that I just didn't understand how hard it was to be a volunteer since I didn't have a school aged child. But at the Great Escape - I have always been told that I have a lot to share. My knowledge and experience have never been questioned - and in return I have learned so much from more experienced volunteers.

My first Great Escape was in 2002 at Camp Favorite - I wasn't even there for the Great Escape; I was helping with a camping training! Nonetheless, I was invited to sing in the evening and, never one to miss up a chance to share music, I went. Several years later I returned with a group of friends and the rest, as they say, is history.

I think I am finally moving out of the "young adult" range as an adult volunteer. I've been around the block a time or two in the past eleven years, and at this point, most people believe me when I tell them I have experience with an area. I don't have to assert myself anymore when leading trainings or convince people that I am the troop leader for a group of high school girls. People entrust me with their precious daughters for weeks at a time at Camp Runels in summer; my first group of high school girls just graduated from college. My daughter is a year and a half old and I look forward to being part of her Girl Scout journey down the road.

The women at the Great Escape are people I can go to for advice, who share their skills with my summer camp staff, who embrace my love of spreadsheets, and who I can truly call friends. It doesn't matter that some of them have daughters my age or that they have been doing Girl Scouting longer than I have been alive - they value me as an individual and as a volunteer. It is my hope that every one of you, young, old and in between, who comes to the Great Escape finds that magic and realizes that we appreciate you and are happy you are coming to spend time with us.

See you in October - make sure to stop by the kitchen and say hi! We always love to see old friends and meet new ones!

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1 comment:

  1. Sarah, your spreadsheets are works of art.

    And I, as a "young adult" volunteer still, echo Sarah's comments about ageism in Girl Scouting and the lack of it at Great Escape.