Our 2016 Volunteer Conference on Saturday, Aug. 6 was a success! More than 400 attendees signed up for classes at “Volunteer University,” on topics ranging from troop finances to gadgets for outdoor camping.
We asked Troop Leader and Service Unit Communications Coordinator Michelle Sarrow to share 10 lessons she learned:
- Be positive. Your actions are what others see.
- Be present. Observe what is going on, but also participate.
- We need tools, too. These classes were created to help us as volunteers. There are some amazingly talented and knowledgeable volunteers within our membership. Don’t be afraid to ask. There is always something or someone who can assist you.
- We make a difference. We all know this, but when we get caught up with our day job or helping our own children, we often forget that there are more than 40,000 girls in Los Angeles learning to take chances or trying something new for the first time because of your efforts.
- Confidence is a skill. I learned this from our keynote speaker Olympia LePoint. She shared her story of growing up in South Central Los Angeles, and how she became a real-life NASA rocket scientist. She is poised and confident now, but she shared how she didn’t start out that way and had to find her confidence as she grew as a person.
- We are contagious. I borrowed this again from our keynote speaker. By smiling and overcoming whatever obstacle is in front of us, we are showing girls they can accomplish anything. By trying something just once, we proved we can do whatever we set our minds to.
- Making a cookie costume takes longer than 75 minutes. Our amazing facilitator worked on every machine before we arrived, set up the room, and had all our supplies. Not one person completed the cookie in one hour, but we had a blast trying.
- The Presidential Volunteer Service Award is a lot of work. I was amazed at how easy our trainer made it look to do this for our girls, but also noticed how much time it would require to manage and maintain this process. Then I remembered something my SUM has stated a few times: If you have a helpful parent who is looking for something to do, this might be just the ticket!
- There are some simple rules to improve your picture quality. Get close. Make the subject of your picture cover 80 percent of the image. Use the ‘Rule of 3’ to frame your pictures. There are four key points to every picture: Focus, light, film/shutter speed, and aperture. Stay true to our brand—show smiles, confidence, having fun, and Girl Scouts!
- Use a single social media platform. Understand who your audience is and how they want to receive their information. If the majority of your audience uses a specific platform (Facebook), then that is the platform you should be using to convey your messages and images. Get everyone to use the same platform so that your information exchange is centralized.