Hello, Girl Scouts, and happy Volunteer Appreciation Month!
As we enjoy the change of season and the new beginnings it brings, I wanted to tell you about another new beginning: my name is Bonnie Barczykowski, and I am the new CEO of Girl Scouts of the USA.
I am honored and humbled to take on this role after spending the last ten years as the CEO of Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri. It is a privilege to provide girls opportunities to explore their worlds, develop skills, and make important connections and friendships that will last a lifetime.
I saw firsthand the tremendous impact of our volunteers. This is why Volunteer Appreciation Month is so important—it’s a time to honor, celebrate, and salute the dedicated volunteers who bring the Girl Scout experience to life for Girl Scouts in communities across the country and the world. They serve as inspirational role models and mentors—championing, challenging, encouraging, and inspiring Girl Scouts to set and achieve new goals, form lasting bonds of friendship, and become courageous and confident leaders of today and tomorrow.
Our volunteers lead incredibly busy lives, and we are so grateful for the commitment they make and the passion they bring to helping the Girl Scouts they serve be their best selves.
During the last few years, Girl Scouts have also experienced more anxiety and mental health challenges in their day-to-day lives. Volunteers have created an invaluable space for them, and we know that Girl Scouts feel the impact of volunteers—because they’ve told us so! In a survey of our girl members:
- 90% say they feel like they can be themselves in Girl Scouts.
- 94% say they feel safe in Girl Scouts.
- 63% say they get to do things that they cannot do in other places.
- 90% say their troop leader cares about them as a person.
- 65% say they are a leader in more activities because of their experience with Girl Scouts.
On behalf of the entire Girl Scout Movement, I want to express my deepest gratitude to the troop leaders, service unit volunteers, delegates, outdoor trainers, troop cookie managers, chaperones, parent helpers, and the many others who choose to volunteer with Girl Scouts. They are making a huge difference in girls’ lives and helping build the next generation of exceptional leaders and change-makers.
Happy Volunteer Appreciation Month! Please enjoy some of our favorite volunteer moments, and stay tuned for exciting ways to celebrate the special volunteers in your life throughout the month of April!
Yours in Girl Scouting,
Chief Executive Officer
Girl Scouts of the USA