We Are Only Leaders
(author unknown)

Thanks to Lisa Tjelta, who posted this great reading to the Guiding Mailing List!

We are not experts. We're your next door neighbours. We're not perfect, we are just parents like you.

We don't have any more spare time or energy than you do, we all work full time and juggle our families and our schedules and try to keep it all together as best we can.

The only difference between us is that we believe in what Girl Scouting/Guiding has to offer. So much so, that we contribute our time, our miles, and our talents to help our girls and your girls grow in Scouting/Guiding.

We complete authorization forms, budgets, and registrations, and fill our homes with boxes of paperwork that you will never see.

We are required to take many hours of training as well as attend various meetings so that we can meet our greatest challenge - providing a variety of programs which meet the needs and interests of very individual girls.

We try to involve parents who want us to understand that they don't have the time to drive on outings or help at meetings. We rejoice at the generosity of others.

Sometimes we find ourselves going in too many directions, We run out of steam. We have memory lapses. Communication lines break down. Time slips by. But that doesn't mean we don't care.

So many evenings we spend on the phone, seeking advice and support from other leaders when disappointments or problems occur. "How do I keep my girl's attention?" "What are your ideas for the ceremony?" "How do you work with girls in different grades?"

Our dining tables are covered with bits of rope, menus, trip permits, craft supplies, paper work and badges for each and every girl in the troop. A couple of them won't show up, and don't think to call and let us know. Sometimes we feel unappreciated.

Yet, these girls can fill us with pride at their determination and accomplishments. Their smiles light up a room; and when they say "Thank You" it makes it all worth it.

We help these girls build relationships. Some struggle more than others. Considerate, loyal, helpful, friendly... is encouraged by the Girl Scout/Guide Promise and Law.  And sometimes we too must learn these lessons over and over again with the girls. But we are willing to keep learning.

Please be patient if we appear distracted or frustrated or overwhelmed at times. Forgive us if we are not the kind of Leader you would be if you had the time. Instead, provide us with encouragement or offer your help.  Keep us in your thoughts and prayers.

We are, after all, only mentors...role models...leaders.  Volunteers who have taken an oath to give these girls, your girls, the most precious gift we have to offer - the gift of time.


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