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2022 July Volunteer Spotlight: Laura Rogers


By Kim French, Director of Resource Centers

Congratulations to Laura Rogers who has been awarded GSNI’s Volunteer Spotlight for July 2022!

Laura’s Girl Scout journey began when she was in elementary school, and her mom volunteered as one of her Brownie troop leaders. She feels very lucky to have had her mom in that role!

Laura has volunteered with GSNI for seven years and is currently one of her daughter’s Troop 1728 leaders. She is also one of Lake Zurich Service Unit’s Co-Service Unit Managers, Volunteer-Led Day Camp Committee Chair, and has assisted with Registrar, Treasurer, and Girl Scout Organizer positions. GSNI recognized Laura as a recipient of GSUSA’s Volunteer of Excellence award in 2019 and of GSUSA’s Appreciation Pin in 2020. She was also a member of Lake Zurich’s Day Camp Team and Service Unit Team—both of which received GSNI’s President’s Award!

GSNI Member Support Specialist Tara Campbell nominated Laura for this award, stating, “Laura fills several roles on the Service Unit Team and has such a passion for Lake Zurich’s volunteers and girls. She stands up for what is right and for what is needed to make theirs the best service unit possible. She has hosted meetings with new troop leaders to ensure they are on the right track, and her dedication for Girl Scouts pushes her above and beyond with each task she takes on. She may not always be the one who is recognized, but she truly deserves this award and more.”

Laura commented, “Girl Scouting was always one of my favorite childhood memories, and I was excited to volunteer as a leader when my daughter wanted to join. I attended our service unit meetings as a new troop leader and quickly learned what a valuable resource a strong service unit could be to connect with other leaders, get ideas for activities, find support from council representatives, and plan events for Girl Scouts from various troops to participate in together.”

When asked about her favorite Girl Scout moments, Laura replied, “I am one who gets teary eyed at every Bridging ceremony, and my heart soars every time I see a girl push herself and flash a smile of hard-won confidence, so choosing one favorite memory is tough. But, I think it might be this summer’s Service Unit Day Camp experience. After canceling this camp over the last two years due to the pandemic, we had a lot of hurdles to overcome to run camp this year. We had to make sure the girls and their parents were comfortable enough to attend a full day camp an hour away from home. We had a group of mostly young, inexperienced Camp Aides and Program Aides who had missed the last two years of training progression at camp who were tasked with planning and leading this year’s activities. Several of our adult volunteers were new to camp and our leadership committee had a lot of new policies to learn. But months of hard work paid off in the most wonderful way, with a rewarding, memorable, and fun experience for over 100 girls. Seeing our campers sing songs with our Camp and Program Aides each morning—excited to be at camp rain or shine—will always be one of my most cherished memories.”

Laura continues, “Those same Camp Aides (CA) and Program Aides (PA) almost completely led camp, from deciding the theme and badgework options, to writing program plans for every moment of each day and for every grade level unit. They worked together and leaned on each other to plan and execute camp, understanding where their fellow CA’s and PA’s strengths and weaknesses were, and allowing each other grace as they learned from one another.”

What a wonderful example of integrating The Three Processes (girl-led, learn by doing, and cooperative learning) into their Girl Scout program!

“Volunteering has brought meaning to me as I have seen real personal growth in the girls in our troop over the past seven years.” Laura explained.

“Some gained independence camping for the first time without a parent. Some gained confidence as they pushed through their anxiety to lead younger Girl Scouts. Some gained courage riding a horse for the first time, and I know they gained character each time their behavior was led by The Girl Scout Law. Knowing that I had a small part in providing those opportunities which helped them grow is one of my proudest accomplishments. I volunteer for Girl Scouts, because it is unique in what it offers to the girls. I feel that no other afterschool activity is open to everyone who wants to participate, despite their finances, parents’ time constraints, and physical or academic abilities/talents. Girl Scouts allows the girls to build long-term, not season-long or year-long, relationship with the same group of girls. Other activities may encourage teamwork or leadership growth under a coach or advisor’s constraints, but Girl Scouts truly lets girls grow into their ability to lead by giving them opportunities to try new things, lead activities, and choose what they want to do as a group. Besides, I know that being a Girl Scout is so much fun!”

When asked what advice she would give to other Girl Scout volunteers and parents, Laura responded, “Go to camp! Camping and the outdoor adventures available at our campsites are opportunities unique to Girl Scouts, and they build confidence and independence in the girls. Many girls are unaware there are so many different activities to try such as archery, slingshots, low ropes, high ropes, ziplining, target sports, crate stacking, geocaching, and more. While camping and these adventurous activities may be a stretch for us as adults, the girls will have a ton of fun doing them. As a leader who thrilled her troop by climbing 14 crates into the sky, I hope you participate, too— it is lots of fun!”

Many thanks to Laura for her enthusiasm and dedication to Girl Scouts! She truly deserves to be in the spotlight!

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