MANCHESTER, NEW HAMPSHIRE| For one local nurse, time spent as a Girl Scout volunteer is all about inspiring a sense of caring in future generations.
Kimberly Lemear, the mom of two Girl Scouts and an ICU nurse at Concord Hospital, has been named Girl Scouts of the Green and White Mountains’ July Volunteer of the Month.
Lemear, who helps lead a multi-age troop of 15 girls ranging in age from 7 to 13, has been volunteering as a Girl Scout leader for the past seven years. After joining her first troop in first grade, Lemear enjoyed Girl Scouting all through high school. She stepped forward as an adult volunteer when her youngest daughter began kindergarten.
These days, she says her favorite part of the week is when she gets to spend time with her troop members—time spent doing everything from community service to camping. “I just love spending time with these girls,” Lemear said. “They’re fabulous people.” She added that community service projects have proven especially popular with her troop, particularly those involving the furry and four-legged.
Most recently, the troop visited Live and Let Live Farm, a sanctuary for homeless horses and animals of all sizes in Chichester, New Hampshire. “The girls love animals,” she said. “Whenever I ask them what they want to do, the answer is usually animal-related.” Lemear and her troop have also reached out to neighboring animal shelters.
Their goodwill extends beyond animals as well. This past year, the girls created their own video calling on friends and community members to donate goods for Families in Transition, a Manchester-based organization helping homeless families with food, job-training, housing, and other necessities. Thanks to the girls’ efforts, children staying in the homeless shelter have been able to celebrate their birthdays in style.
“When they heard that there were children in their community that were less fortunate, they wanted to help,” Lemear said of her troop. “I’m always trying to encourage them to see the bigger picture.”
During the Community Camporee held at Camp Farnsworth in Thetford, Vermont in May, Lemear experienced a proud moment. Three of her younger troop members had never gone camping before. Much to Lemear’s delight, some of her older girls immediately offered to serve as their one-on-one “camp buddies.”
With Lemear’s older daughter about to enter 8th grade, troop members have also started to show interest in travel opportunities. “There’s a lot of talk about Europe lately,” she said, adding that a Washington, D.C. trip is also a possibility. She’s equally excited about the prospect of seeing such sites through her girls’ eyes.
“Watching these girls grow over the years and becoming more self-sufficient: it doesn’t get much better than that,” she said. She noted that some of her oldest Cadette Girl Scouts will be teaming up to assist younger Brownies with some of their badge projects in the coming year.
“They’re planning their own activities and they’re always thinking of others,” Lemear added.
Her advice to others thinking of becoming an adult volunteer? “There are so many ways you can help, but you’re never alone here,” she said. “It’s such a fulfilling experience.”