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Volunteer of the Month: Patsy Tompkins


For substitute teacher Patsy Thompkins, volunteering is more than an enjoyable pastime- it’s her way of life.  The Barton resident, who has worked with several generations of girls since leading her first Girl Scout troop in the early 1980s, has been named Girl Scouts of the Green and White Mountains’ February Volunteer of the Month.

Thompkins was initially introduced to Girl Scouts, while living in Connecticut and enduring some personal struggles. After a colleague recommended she try volunteering as an antidote for angst, she decided to take on her first Girl Scout troop. Many more would follow. “They’d grow up, they’d earn their Girl Scout Gold Awards, and eventually, get married,” said Thompkins. “Then I’d start all over again.”

Over the years, Thompkins has mentored hundreds of girls - both in Girl Scout troops and in the Girl Scout summer camp programs she assisted with. These days, she works with not one, but two active troops in her community. Thompkins said she treasures each moment. “I don’t have children of my own, so this is a great way for me to stay connected,” she said.  

While teaching, it’s not uncommon for girls to come running up to her in the hallways and embrace her in an impromptu hug. “It makes me feel so warm inside,” Thompkins said. “Some of these kids really, really need Girl Scouts in their lives.”

Outside of Girl Scouts, Thompkins lends helping hands to other causes near and dear to her heart. She’s president of the Barton Public Library, a member of the Newport Rotary Club, works on the American Red Cross Disaster Team, and serves as both chapter treasurer and state Americanism Chair for the American Legion Ladies Auxiliary. She also assists a nearby local animal shelter with monthly spay and neuter clinics.

With a heaping plateful of projects and causes, Thompkins is quick to encourage others to consider volunteering in their communities. “I hear ‘I don’t have time’ from people all the time,” she laughed. “I tell them, just give it a try. I say take it and make it your own.”