Troop Leader Diana Sporisky is currently in her 9th year of leading her Clyde, Texas-based troop. She tells anyone who is thinking about volunteering with Girl Scouts but might be hesitant to try: "Put preconceived ideas of what a Girl Scout volunteer out of your head. A volunteer is anyone who has the heart to help the girls achieve their goals! I’m a deaf woman who has no daughter of her own and I can do this! Anyone can! As long as you remained focused on the girls and what’s best for them then that’s what’s important!" Thank you Diana for all that you do!
Read on to learn more about Diana...
How did you join Girl Scouts as a volunteer?
I was a Girl Scout for 12 years as a girl and it was a big part of my life. Leading Troop 7223 isn’t actually my first experience leading. As a student at Abilene Christian University, I actually volunteered for the program where we were leading Girl Scouts as part of the Big Brothers Big Sisters program for two years.
I became involved with Troop 7223 when my oldest niece who lived with me at the time became a Brownie. As a Daisy she only earned fun patches, not any petals, and I wanted more for her. So, I stepped up to help lead the troop I had her transferred to. Then that leader stepped down and I began leading the troop fully.
She graduates this year and I just purchased her lifetime membership.
What is your favorite Girl Scout volunteer memory?
When we first started Girl scouts and cookie sales my niece Aleigha was so shy and would barely talk to customers. I worked with her for a few years after that to help her with her people skills. We were doing a booth sale at Sam’s and that year we had the cranberry cookie. The manager came to buy cookies and was talking to the girls about what he should buy. Aleigha told him that he really needed to try the cranberry cookie because it is amazing to dip in coffee in the morning and convinced him to get it instead of the Caramel Delights he was originally going to buy.
I have several more stories like this but anytime I get to witness the girls bloom into confident, strong young women is what keeps me motivated to lead. Watching girls faces light up when they see me outside of scout meetings/events and saying hello to me also is a big favorite of mine.
At our annual planning meeting where the girls plan what badges they would like to do for the year, the troop decided that they wanted to do the then-new Robotics badges. I knew nothing about this topic so I reached out the library who has Ozobots and a coding class to help with this. At first some of the girls were struggling to get the bots to follow the codes they wanted them to. The expressions on their faces, laughs when it clicked, and when they figured out how to do it is the best.
This year working as the Service Unit Recruitment chair has been fun as well. This year we held a recruitment where I had planned a little scavenger hunt around the Girl Scout hut. The excitement from the girls as they figured out each clue was amazing! They joined that night and are still plugged into the troops they joined!
Girl Scouts is a big part of who I am! I’m in it for the opportunities I can provide for the girls.
What is your favorite thing about being a Girl Scout volunteer?
Being able to watch the girls grow and become who they are! That original group of girls is in high school now. Seeing who they have developed into and knowing that I got to help with that it is an honor.
How have you been able to use your own experience as a volunteer to help others who may be timid to get involved?
I have built a strong community of adults around Troop 7223. When I first began, I encouraged all the parents to sign up as troop support volunteer and help the troop as they could. I had a co-leader who stepped up to help out. Her daughter decided to leave Girl Scouts and when it was time to find another co-leader I was able to get two other moms to step up and help lead! I took a year off from scouting in 2019-2020 and those two co-leaders kept the troop going without me. I came back in 2020-2021 due to those same leaders and some of the girls begging me to come back but it was nice to know that the troop was taken care of in my absence.
Any advice to those who aren’t sure they “fit the mold” of a Girl Scout volunteer?
Put preconceived ideas of what a Girl Scout volunteer out of your head. A volunteer is anyone who has the heart to help the girls achieve their goals! I’m a deaf woman who has no daughter of her own and I can do this! Anyone can! As long as you remained focused on the girls and what’s best for them then that’s what’s important!
What do you know now that you wish you knew before getting involved as a volunteer?
Don’t get so hung up on the plan! Some of the best meetings with the most growth and learning for the girls in the troop happened when my plan didn’t go like it should have and we all had to brainstorm or pivot in the moment!