By Kim French, Director of Resource Centers
Congratulations to Pattie Klassen who has been awarded GSNI’s Volunteer Spotlight for December 2022!
Five years ago, Pattie graciously volunteered to become one of Troop 1318’s Leaders, enjoying Girl Scouts along with her daughter and their troop. Pattie is also Kaskaskia Service Unit’s Fall Product Co-Chair and Cookie Co-Coordinator, providing the same great support to her service unit’s troops as she does as Troop 1318’s Fall Product and Cookie Chair.
One of GSNI’s Member Support Specialists, Kim Agnello, nominated Pattie stating, “Pattie stepped up this year with the service unit to help with Fall Product and Girl Scout Cookies in addition to leading her troop. She has also been researching some additional events that the service unit can do to help raise funds for more Girl Scouts in her area to attend camp. She took the lead in setting up a GSNI Preferred Partnership with Walcamp, so the girls would have a place close by to take part in outdoor activities. Every time we meet, she has practical ideas on how to find more resources and opportunities for their members to get the most out of Girl Scouts.” Way to go, Pattie!
“I was a Girl Scout as a kid and got back into it when my daughter started as a kindergartener,” Pattie continued. “My favorite Girl Scout moment is taking the girls camping and watching them become their own individuals—finding out who they are as a person by pushing their own limits and exceeding what they thought was out of their capabilities.”
When asked how volunteering has brought meaning to her, Pattie responded, “It gives me a chance to be able to show young girls that they are capable of doing anything they want to, if they put their minds to it. I get a chance to show or do things with them that they may not have ever thought about trying to do.”
She noted that The Three Processes (girl-led, learn by doing, and cooperative learning) are integrated into what her Girl Scouts do. “I take cues from the girls on what they like doing. I offer for them to lead some or all of a meeting that excites them or one they are interested in learning more about. Or, that they can team up and both plan and run the meeting. I also suggest a meeting for them to plan when I believe they’d benefit more from leading the badge, rather than having it shown to them.”
“I volunteered for Girl Scouts, because I wanted to give my daughter a better experience than I had as a child.” Pattie shared, “Our troop has been amazing, and all the girls are like my own. Watching them grow up and become young ladies that care about their towns, nature, animals, and so much more, gives me the motivation to not give up and to keep pushing through the tough times.”
After considering what advice she might give to other Girl Scout volunteers or parents, Pattie replied, “Do not underestimate what they are capable of doing. Give them a foundation of love, trust, and encouragement, and the sky will be the limit for them!”
Thank you, Pattie, for volunteering with GSNI and for making a difference!
GSNI wants to thank Patty Donahue and Image Awards Engraving and Creative Keepsakes in Geneva, Illinois, for graciously providing the beautiful tile trivet awards for our Volunteer Spotlight Program.