The Girl Scouts–Arizona Cactus-Pine Council (GSACPC) has had a busy year, to say the least. In addition to phenomenal cookie sales, which was made that much sweeter by its fourth annual Girl Scout Cookie Dessert Challenge, GSACPC recently opened The Bob & Renee Parsons Leadership Center for Girls & Women at Camp South Mountain, an $18 million year-round urban program center that is fully ADA accessible.
The completion of The Parsons Leadership Center has contributed to a significant interest in Girl Scouting, which is great news for our local girls. Studies have shown that those who participate in Girl Scouts develop a strong sense of self, establish and stick to a set of positive values, seek out challenges, develop healthy relationships and are better equipped to solve community problems.
A large part of Girl Scouts’ success can be attributed to its adult volunteers. In addition to making a positive impact on young girls’ lives, volunteering with the Girl Scouts is a great way to make life-long friends, learn new skills and can even help you live longer.
“This is my thirtieth year in Girl Scouts,” said Nikkia Coburn, Troop Leader in GSACPC’s Paradise Hills neighborhood. “I started in the fourth grade with my mom as my Troop Leader and I stayed because of the friendships I made. I also developed a stronger sense of confidence that I don’t think I would have developed elsewhere. I went on to earn both my Silver and Gold Awards, the highest honors you can receive as a Girl Scout.”
As soon as she graduated from high school, Coburn became a co-leader with her mom, who remains a Troop Leader to this day.
“I learn something new from volunteering with the Girl Scouts every day,” said Coburn. “I really enjoy encampments, seeing how the girls handle themselves outdoors and the improvements they’ve made when it comes to setting up camp and cooking over a fire! This time also gives me the opportunity to try new things. I am certified in archery and canoeing, which means that I oversee and participate in these activities with the girls.”
GSACPC is looking for Troop Leaders across North Phoenix and beyond in order for more girls to partake in the leadership journey. According to Coburn, it may seem like a large commitment, but as the Troop Leader, you are in charge of the schedule. This allows volunteers a large amount of flexibility, ensuring that a good balance can be struck between work life, personal life, and troop life.
“I encourage any and every one to take the risk and become involved in Girl Scouts simply because I know that they won’t regret it,” said Coburn.
For more information on how to get involved, visit girlscoutsaz.org/join.
Written by: Breanne Krager
A Michigan native, Breanne Krager moved to the Valley in late 2016 and currently resides in Phoenix, where she is an account coordinator at HMA Public Relations. In her spare time, she enjoys hiking, running outside, trying new restaurants and checking out the area’s libraries and museums.