TAMWORTH, NEW HAMPSHIRE | A mother of two teens, longtime volunteer firefighter and EMT, and fire captain for the Tamworth fire department, Diane Bowles juggles many responsibilities as a Girl Scout volunteer, putting her multi-tasking and organizational skills to great use.
Seven years ago, Bowles, a substitute teacher, stepped up as her daughter Kimberly’s Brownie troop leader when the current leader was no longer able to stay with the program. Over the years, Bowles has significantly increased her service in Girl Scouts, both within her community and on a regional level.
These days, Bowles leads her daughter’s multi-age level troop of Cadette and Senior Girl Scouts, is the assistant leader of her community’s Junior Girl Scout troop, and serves as product sales coordinator for Community 232 (comprised of Tamworth, Tuftonboro, Ossipee, Effingham, Wakefield, Wolfeboro, Brookfield, and New Durham.) She also oversees the local Girl Scout cookie cupboard during cookie season.
Bowles is glad she became a Girl Scout volunteer for many reasons. “We’re still a small (Girl Scout) community, but I’m so proud of our active programs,” Bowles said, noting that her favorite part of all of her volunteer roles is simply “spending time with the girls.” “That time together is so precious to me,” she added.
“Without her, Girl Scouts never would have grown from one Brownie troop to four different-aged troops in Tamworth,” said Bowles’ daughter, now a high school sophomore.
Bowles seeks to inspire the next generation of strong female leaders. “Sometimes the girls like to try on my firefighting gear,” she said. “I always tell them they should try everything, because girls today don’t have to fit into a box. They truly can do anything they set out to do.”
That “can-do” attitude certainly isn’t limited to the younger girls she encounters. Bowles said she enjoys encouraging her friends, many of them mothers, to get involved in Girl Scouts. “Some of them will come to us once a year to lead an activity or help out with a badge project,” she said. “I always tell people that it doesn’t have to take a lot of time to make an impact.”