CONCORD, NEW HAMPSHIRE| For Sheila Morris, Girl Scouts is all about giving girls and women the confidence to step into the spotlight. The Concord mom, who has worked with nearly 300 girls around the region and has logged over 1000 volunteer hours this past calendar year alone, has no plans of slowing down anytime soon. Her continued energy and enthusiasm make her the Girl Scouts of the Green and White Mountains’ April Volunteer of the Month.
Whether she’s traipsing the globe with the girls, or showing the ropes to a brand-new Brownie troop leader, Morris has an extensive history of helping others. Throughout her childhood, Girl Scouting was truly a family affair. “My mom was a troop leader and my sister and I were involved through the ninth grade,” she said. “So when my first daughter was ready for kindergarten, I knew I had to start a troop of my own.” Two more daughters would follow- and Morris would learn the true meaning of multi-tasking.
Though her three daughters have since outgrown troop life, Morris continues to make her mark on the next generation. Now during her 18th year as a troop leader, she currently leads a travel-focused troop for middle and high school girls, and helps oversee Brownie and Cadette troops. “I learned how to juggle several troops at a time early on,” Morris said with a laugh. “Now, I can’t imagine not doing it.”
Her involvement doesn’t stop there. Morris organized a girls’ afterschool program in Concord for nearly a decade and currently serves as her community’s Cookie Chair, where she supports girls and volunteers around the region participating in the Girl Scout Cookie Program.
Morris regularly extends a helping hand to fellow volunteers, and is constantly seeking new opportunities to bring people together. With her troops standing by to assist, she regularly oversees community events, including the annual Camporee. “I truly believe that these experiences are essential, as they give girls leadership experience and helps them hone their planning skills,” Morris said. “They learn about logistics, about crisis management - all important skills that will serve them into adulthood.”
During a troop trip to Costa Rica last year, Morris rolled up her sleeves alongside her troop and volunteered at both a rural schoolhouse and a remote animal rescue. “Girl Scouts exposes girls to things they wouldn’t experience otherwise; to people they might never have met,” she said.
“Costa Rica was an eye-opening experience for them: though the local people were poor, they always had a smile for us and were so excited to meet us and learn about Girl Scouts.” This past summer, Morris chaperoned a group of two-dozen Girl Scouts from around the nation during a council-sponsored trip to Europe.
When she’s not serving others as a lifelong Girl Scout, Morris juggles jobs at Concord High School, where she works with struggling teens, and LEtGo Your Mind, where she teaches children’s STEM programs using LEGOs. Wherever she goes, she enjoys gently pushing others to meet their personal goals and overcome obstacles.
“It’s a huge commitment, but I love helping other adults as well as girls,” she said. “I’ve made it my mission to make sure all new troop leaders have a buddy or two. No one is ever truly alone.”