By Kim French, Director of Resource Centers
Congratulations to Grace Ciccolella who has been awarded GSNI’s Volunteer Spotlight for September 2022!
Grace’s Girl Scout adventure began when she was a young Daisy. She shared that she eventually went on to earn her Girl Scout Silver Award, a wonderful achievement. She has been volunteering with GSNI for four years now as one of Troop 2348’s leaders, as their Troop Cookie Chair, and she is currently Fox Tales (previously Broken Arrow) Service Unit Registrar.
GSNI Member Support Specialist, Kim Agnello, nominated Grace for our Volunteer Spotlight Award and commented, “As a Service Unit Registrar, Grace has been so enthusiastic and fun to work with. She couldn’t wait to get started and learn what she could do in the role to best help the service unit. She’s been wonderful at posting all kinds of renewal information on Facebook and in making sure her troops have all the information they need to renew for this upcoming 2023 Membership Year. Her excitement is just so contagious!”
When asked how volunteering has brought meaning to her, Grace explained, “When my daughter was born, I knew Girl Scouting was in her future, and I was very happy to become her troop leader and to share my love of the Girl Scout experience with her. As a troop leader, I have had the same girls in my troop for four years, and it has been extremely rewarding to watch them grow and learn with me. I feel some responsibility for the way they see the world and for how they will navigate life in the future, and I take it very seriously. It brings me lots of joy to watch them develop into strong, smart, and independent girls.”
Regarding integration of The Three Processes (girl-led, learn by doing, cooperative learning) into their Girl Scout experience, Grace noted, “The girls are always provided with several choices in our activities and adventures. Often times, they are the brains behind the whole operation. We always try to take the girls’ ideas and turn them into something tangible. Every meeting has at least one hands-on activity, and we remind them often of the Girl Scout Law and how it can be applied to our current situation.”
“My favorite memory as a Girl Scout volunteer was at our Food Field Day,” Grace continued. “I asked the girls to come up with a theme for a field day event that we would plan. They chose food. Then I asked them to come up with games involving food that we could play. Their ideas were pie in the face, a sandwich making contest, a food fight, whipped cream art contest, and an egg carrying race. We did them all, and it was a blast! And, of course, we cleaned up the entire park afterwards because we’re Girl Scouts!”
Why does Grace volunteer with Girl Scouts? She replied, “I think it is important to contribute to the healthy development of our world, our society, and our community in any way we can. Girl Scouting provides a place for girls to engage actively in subjects and experiences that they might not otherwise encounter. This provides them with more opportunities and the ability to eventually grow into an advocate and a voice for positivity and growth in our communities. I am happy to be a part of it.”
Grace’s advice to other volunteers and parents is, “Allow the girls the freedom to grow. Let them get messy and allow them to think outside the box. Create a comfortable and welcoming environment that allows them to think freely and that frees them from the stress and worries of everyday life.”
Thank you, Grace, for your wonderful contributions! You truly deserve 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.