ESSEX JUNCTION, VERMONT| Whether she’s sharing her love of STEM with local schoolchildren, or helping other Girl Scout troops manage their books, Laura Chadwick enjoys using her talents to help others. The Essex Junction mother of two, and a Girl Scout troop leader since 2004, has been named Girl Scouts of the Green and White Mountains’ May Volunteer of the Month.
Chadwick first became acquainted with Girl Scouts when her older daughter, Julia, was about to enter kindergarten. “We attended the open house at school and learned about all the programs,” she said. After contemplating her busy work and family schedule, she decided her best bet would be to start a new troop with Julia. “I was looking for something we could do together, but I worked long hours,” she noted. Three years later, Chadwick started up a second Girl Scout troop when younger daughter, Emma, began kindergarten.
These days, Julia and Emma are both in high school, and Chadwick not only leads several troops, but has extended her helping hand to other volunteers in need. In the fall of 2012, she took on the role of Community Accounting Coordinator for her Girl Scout service unit. “I saw there were people struggling, and there were some gaps in my community,” she said.
An engineer by profession, Chadwick decided to share her talents. “I realized I had a lot to offer in this area,” she added. “Accounting tasks aren’t everyone’s cup of tea, and some of the leaders were having a tough time with it.” She now works with about 20 troops around her region, helping them manage their banking applications. Chadwick not only maintains an accounting database, she also reviews and submits annual reports, often working behind-the-scenes. “At the end of the day, it’s all about being good stewards of the money our girls are earning,” she said.
Currently employed full-time with GlobalFoundries, Chadwick still finds time to take her troops on field trips and other adventures. Perhaps her favorite destination is the Boston Museum of Science, though she admits she’s a little bit biased.
“We need to make sure STEM programs are accessible to all girls,” she said. Chadwick noted that she particularly enjoys putting her scientific brain to task by doing vocational outreach with children of all ages, both with Girl Scouts and for other organizations.
“There are a lot of us out there who are working moms—people who don’t generally have a ton of time. But our community of leaders is a really, really great resource,” she added. “This is a community that really steps it up and is there for each other.”