ESSEX, VT| Whether mentoring girls to become a G.I.R.L. (Go-Getter, Risk-Taker, Innovator, Leader)™, creating costumes and curtains, or issuing cookies to northwestern Vermont, Belle Pfeiffer can always be counted on. She has helped girls take an active role in discovering who they are, what they care about, and to take action to make the world a better place. Girl Scouts of the Green and White Mountains (GSGWM) has named her Volunteer of the Month for August.
Pfeiffer, of Essex, Vermont, has run the Cookie Cupboard for Chittenden County and surrounding areas since 2012. She had been leading a troop and wanted to stay involved after her daughter finished with Girl Scouts, so she took on the job of organizing cookie deliveries, not fully understanding what she was getting into.
“It turned out I started getting orders from places I had no idea where they were!” she said. “There came an order, from like, Alburgh, on the Canadian border!”
The Girl Scout council had consolidated the locations where troops could pick up their cookies, called cupboards, so that Pfeiffer was now in charge of the entire northwest corner of Vermont. But she stepped up, working from a storage unit in a warehouse, and with the help of her college-age son devised different ways to communicate with the troops to pick up and deliver cookies. Her hard work and dedication resulted in her group being one of the highest in cookies sales this past fall.
Pfeiffer has also put her creativity and sewing skills to work, creating new cookie costumes for Girl Scouts to wear when hosting their cookie sale booths and making new curtains for Camp Farnsworth in Thetford, Vermont.
“I’m getting there. They’re kind of in the prototype stage,” she said of the costumes. “The idea was to come up with something that would be more lasting and that the girls would like.” The costumes provided by the cookie baker didn’t hang quite as well on some of the girls, she said, so she’s still working on designs.
Spreading the word about the benefits of Girl Scouts is also a large part of Pfeiffer’s life. Beverly Hill notes that Pfeiffer has volunteered to help run Discover Girl Scouts events with her, and “consistently goes above and beyond what we expect her to do.” Even though Pfeiffer no longer runs a troop, “Belle is still doing her part to help build girls of courage, confidence and character, who make the world a better place,” said Hill. “We are lucky to have her as a volunteer.”
At Discover Girl Scouts events, which Pfeiffer has held at Essex Elementary School, Hiawatha Elementary School, Richmond Elementary School, Brewster Pierce Memorial School, Thomas Fleming School and more, she has not only sparked interest in Girl Scouts from girls, but also from parents, even recruiting two fathers recently to lead troops.
She encourages all to volunteer, saying how helpful it is for girls to be mentored. “Most women have had a career in something versus when I was a kid,” she said. “They are the best mentors for girls to figure out what they want to do.” She saw the result in her own daughter, who was invited to become a girl representative on the board of directors for Girl Scouts of the Green and White Mountains.
“It was an excellent experience for my daughter,” she said. “It began to bring her out, and she had the experience of seeing how a nonprofit board of directors works, and had the chance to go to Europe and UN … it made being a troop leader stuff up front worth it in the end because she got something out of Girl Scouts that I did not. I’m happy I hung in there! It gave her direction and self confidence. It was great!”
“Belle definitely goes above and beyond,” said Robin Boyd, GSGWM Manager of Product Sales, “advising troops for better success in their booth sales, supporting troops in her area and mentoring newer troops, and exuding Girl Scout spirit and pride through and through.”
When girls succeed, so does society. Girl Scouts provides the tools girls need to not only dream big, but to achieve those dreams. Girl Scouts of the Green and White Mountains is proud of Belle Pfeiffer for embodying the G.I.R.L. (Go-Getter, Risk-Taker, Innovator, Leader)™ DNA.