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2022 April Volunteer Spotlight: Steve Love


By Kim French, Director of Resource Centers

Congratulations to Steve Love who has been awarded GSNI’s Volunteer Spotlight for April 2022!

Steve has been volunteering for the last five years with his oldest daughter who is in a troop within Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana’s (GSGCNWI) border. She continues her Girl Scout adventure with that troop, but Steve has since moved to within GSNI’s southern region and has stepped up to be a leader with Troop 399 for his youngest daughter. Besides co-leading this troop, Steve previously assisted as their Troop Fall Product Chair and Troop Cookie Chair. Plus, he has recently volunteered to become Stargazers (previously Gemini) Service Unit’s Manager!

Steve was co-nominated for this award by both GSNI Resource Specialist Mary Kay Golec and GSNI Member Support Specialist Lauri Doyle. They noted, “After Steve’s move to the Yorkville area mid-COVID, he went to a recruitment and struggled to find a co-leader to get a troop started for his younger daughter. He worked hard to find someone to step up for this new troop. He has since grown this into a larger, multi-level troop with several adult volunteers helping him. He believes strongly in helping to educate our Girl Scouts to follow the Girl Scout Law. He is enthusiastic about growing their service unit and has begun working with other nearby service units to offer an event this year they can all attend. Steve is a single parent with a full-time job, a multi-level GSNI troop, a Troop Volunteer in GSGCNWI’s council, and has just taken on the Service Unit Manager role to make sure local kids have opportunities other area Girl Scouts have. Steve embodies the phrase ‘man enough to be a Girl Scout’.”

Why does Steve volunteer for Girl Scouts? He replied, “I love having the honor to help mold the next generation. I believe in the Girl Scout message, and I can see firsthand how it has helped my oldest. I grew up in 4H (a reserve Grand Champion at the State Fair for dog showing along with other placements), and I had never been a Scout. I enjoy watching these young ladies show how strong and smart they are and to see how far they can go by just having people in their corner.”

He continued, “Volunteering for Girl Scouts has allowed me to impact my new community, both as a leader to the girls and in making contacts as the Service Unit Manager to help our service unit have a much larger footprint within the community. To see how strong these Brownies are and what they have overcome at such a young age, how can I not make myself better, if they are making themselves better?”

“Integrating The Three Processes (girl-led, learn by doing, and cooperative learning) into our troop means everything the troop does is decided by the girls, of course with help and direction from parents and volunteers, as they are still Brownies. Before we decided to collect bottle caps for the fairgrounds to make benches, we ran this idea by the girls who determined it was something we wanted to do.”

When asked what his favorite Girl Scout memory was, Steve commented, “I have too many great Girl Scout memories to count. Overall, just seeing the girls have so much fun makes volunteering worth it. My favorite moment is more personal, watching my oldest lead the youngest troop on a Journey. Seeing it full circle. She would look up to the older girls herself when she was just starting out.”

“Just do what you can to help,” Steve explained when asked what advice he would give to other Girl Scout volunteers or parents. “Your unique skills can help in one way or another. Maybe the girls want to do a computer project, and you are a computer programmer, then there you go. Or, maybe you can lead a skill learning meeting. It does not have to be perfect. Sometimes the girls learn more with imperfection. Parents, talk with your troop leaders, as I have learned so much just by chatting with our troop parents. As a troop leader, we lean on you. Good volunteer and parental involvement can make or break a troop. Leaders, just breathe. At times it can seem to be a lot, but it always works out, and the girls always have fun.”

Steve added, “Regarding my own troop volunteers and parents, I would be lost without them. I have been blessed with so many great parents and volunteers; it really has allowed us to grow as a troop and to take on extra girls without me feeling overwhelmed.”

Many thanks to Steve for dedicating his time to Girl Scouts and for making a difference in the lives of others. Keep up the good work!

GSNI wishes to thank Patty Donahue and Image Awards Engraving and Creative Keepsakes in Geneva, Illinois, for providing the beautiful tile trivet awards for our Volunteer Spotlight Program.

GSNI Note:

Sometimes people are surprised to learn men are welcome to volunteer with Girl Scouts. In fact, we’re very grateful for men who step up to be a part of the Girl Scout Leadership Experience—whether it’s because they have a Girl Scout in their family or because they simply believe in our mission of building courage, confidence, and character. Men can support Girl Scouts on many levels—as board members, service unit team members, on camp and property teams, through the Girl Scout Cookie Program, and even as troop leaders.

Male Girl Scout volunteers who are troop leaders are held to the same high standards of safety and overall qualifications as all our volunteers, including official criminal background checks, the signing of a volunteer position contract, and complying with appropriate training criteria for their volunteer role. In addition, male troop leaders may only serve as troop leaders if serving alongside one or more female, unrelated troop leaders.

GSNI works with each troop and service unit to ensure the safety of our Girl Scouts by enforcing strict requirements and codes of conduct with all volunteers. We stand by and support our volunteers, regardless of gender, as they pledge to do their best in the interest of safeguarding, empowering, and mentoring the Girl Scouts entrusted to their care.

If you know of a potential volunteer who may be “man enough to be a Girl Scout”, please encourage them to contact our Customer Care Department today and start their volunteer journey with Girl Scouts of Northern Illinois!