Alice Piri is a volunteer from Concho Pearls Service Unit and has been a part of Girl Scouts for many years. Being part of Girl Scouts not only has enriched the lives of many, many girls, but has also changed her life for the better. Read about her experience below:
I was about seven or eight years old when I first heard about Girl Scouts in second grade. I wanted to join, but at that time only “city girls” were allowed to join. I was a farm girl and absolutely devastated by that news! Elementary school years passed but by then I had focused on 4-H instead.
In 1972, while living in Great Falls, MT, a few 4th, 5th and 6th grade neighborhood Girl Scouts asked me to be their sewing advisor. I thought sure, “I can do that!” So each girl came over and sewed a poncho for their Junior Girl Scout Sewing badge. What lovely ponchos! At that time I had a daughter who was 1 ½ years old and I was expecting to have another child in August, 1973.
These girls made such an impact in my life with each one having such a personality that was different and special from the next one. On the night I was about to go to the hospital, they called me over to one of their homes and had a surprise baby shower for me. To this day, I still remember the banner they made for me that said, “We are all bananas about Alice!” I have kept in touch with their parents all of these years and actually visited their families three years ago.
I may have mentored hundreds of girls throughout the thirty five plus years in Girl Scouts, each one bringing their special uniqueness and various skills to the troops I worked with. Each girl touched me in a special way and the impact has followed me all of my days in such a positive manner. I remember one girl struggled with dyslexia, and she wanted to earn the highest award in Girl Scouts- the Gold Award. She was concerned she couldn’t write what she was doing properly on her forms. I decided we could get an audio recording of everything she said and she was one happy girl! This boosted her self-image to a higher level!
This summer, one of the San Angelo Girl Scouts—whom I mentored on her Gold Award Project—went to Africa on a mission trip. She took 100 pillow case dresses with her that were made by her and the sewing team. Helping these girls could make anyone feel good and it continues to keep me focused on what is important in life. Imagine how the African girls are feeling with new dresses from America, made by Girl Scouts!!
We all need to remember the power of doing well by doing good. Each of us, in our own lives, will be faced with challenges, road blocks, problems that we didn’t anticipate or expect. The way in which we deal with adversity will be influenced, to no small extent, by how we deal with others along the way. What we get will depend a lot on what we give.
When you get to be my age (which, for some of you, is really old, though it doesn’t seem so old to me anymore), you will find yourself beginning to ask, “Did my life make a difference?” That’s the day of personal reckoning. I think the only way to face it is consider, every day of your life: How can I do something for somebody else? How can I give back to others? It may be teaching or becoming a doctor. You may be successful in business (no matter what your career path) and always have the opportunity to give back. The chance to give time, money, your heart and soul will always present itself. Paying it forward is the best policy and comes back to you in more ways than one. When you’re presented with new beginnings, you should keep your eyes open for those opportunities to give and embrace them as a sure way of doing well.
It has been a privilege to serve in the Girl Scout program. 25 of the years were spent traveling with my military husband and family from various duty stations and even serving abroad. Each move meant finding friends and without a doubt we found them through Girl Scouts (as well as Boy Scouts)! Our three children needed it as much as I did. There was no way we were going to be lonely and Scouting provided the extended family we needed while away from our families. I am more thankful how each girl, adult and volunteer has enhanced and enriched my life in a special way. The Girl Scout song “Make New Friends, but keep the old, one is Silver and the other is Gold, A circle is round and has no end, that‘s how long I want to be your friend” is so true! ‘Forever’ is wonderful with all the friendships we have made throughout the years!
Adult Volunteer Girl Scout
Concho Pearls Service Unit
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