Eileen Grimmer of Derry named Volunteer of the Month for June by Girl Scout council
DERRY, NH | The oldest of eight children, taking care of others is part of Eileen Grimmer’s DNA. She has given a lifetime of service to Girl Scouts, her church, and community. Girl Scouts of the Green and White Mountains is recognizing Grimmer’s dedication to the wellbeing and positive growth of girls by naming her the council’s Volunteer of the Month for June.
Grimmer, 72, of Derry, was a Girl Scout from second grade through high school, and has volunteered with Girl Scouts for 35 years. She leads three different troops in Derry with girls in first through 12th grades with the help of dedicated co-leaders, helpers, and parent volunteers.
“She works very hard to give the girls the best Girl Scout experience possible and the Derry community has truly benefited from Eileen’s ability and willingness to maintain these three troops,” said Amanda Powell, Volunteer Support Specialist for the council serving more than 10,000 girls across New Hampshire and Vermont.
Jean Parady, a troop volunteer and cookie mom for many years for the three troops, said Grimmer is personally involved with the many girls who have benefitted from her leadership. “She knows these girls individually,” said Parady. “She knows their story, what’s exciting in their lives, who their parents are. She’s always cheering them on. When she retired (from the work world), I thought she would retire from Girl Scouts, but she just ramped it up! With that many girls, all the time and planning activities for them, she always has something up her sleeve for them!”
Grimmer has retired from two careers, spending 24 years with the phone company and 15 years working for the state of New Hampshire working on IT contracts. And if leading Girl Scouts and working full time wasn’t enough, she has been an indispensable volunteer at St. Thomas Aquinas Church, where she was professed as a Third Order Secular Franciscan in February 2019. She also spent the past 25 years volunteering an evening or two a week at Parkland Medical Hospital in Derry until April 2019, and was awarded the hospital’s Frist Award, given annually to volunteers. She has also received the National Catholic Scouting Award Medal for leaders – the St. Anne Award - from the Diocese of Manchester.
Her relationship with the church has resulted in a strong partnership with her Girl Scout troops. “One example is their work is with the outreach at St. Thomas, providing monthly dinners for the seniors living at the Nutfield Senior Center in Derry,” said Grimmer. “Each month we coordinate with a different Girl Scout troop from Auburn, Chester, or Derry to prepare, and help serve the dinner under the leadership of the scout troops from St. Thomas. It is a wonderful experience for all the girls that the seniors look forward to as well”.
“She was a history major in college,” said Parady. “She never lost her love for history. So she’ll take the girls to Sturbridge Village – cooking like colonial people did, doing some printing, doing different activities as they go through the Village. Every holiday, her girls are in the parade for Christmas and Memorial Day, and placing flags on graves.” Parady quickly ticked off a long list of activities Grimmer’s Girl Scouts are involved in – scrapbooking, a button auction, selling cookies, bake sales at the church fish fries, serving parish dinners, traveling to J&F Farms for pumpkins, and overnight trips to Vermont where they visited Ben and Jerry’s, the Cabot Cheese factory, The Lake Champlain Science Museum, and Vietnam Veterans Memorial.
Though she doesn’t consider herself a camper, Grimmer makes sure her girls learn camping skills. “Most girls camp with their parents anyway,” she said. “They love coming to my house and putting the tents up. They spend the night, make a fire, have s’mores, and cook breakfast.”
She encourages her girls to make the effort to earn Girl Scouting’s highest awards, but teaches them that it is up to them to actually make it happen. She currently has nine girls ready to earn their Silver Award (the highest honor for Girl Scout Cadettes, those in grades 6-8), and has decided to stick with Girl Scouts for another year or two to make sure they see it through.
Mentoring girls to become young women of courage, confidence, and character is important to Grimmer. “I see the girls growing. That’s what makes it worthwhile to me”, she said. “I enjoy working with the girls. They have such imagination and such energy. That’s what’s kept me young!”
Even with the pandemic, Girl Scouts are still active, working on badges and other activities, and continuing the Girl Scout mission to make the world a better place. Volunteers like Eileen Grimmer are the magic ingredient that makes the recipe work. Girl Scouts of the Green and White Mountains is proud to name her the June Volunteer of the Month.
If you’re interested in getting involved, find out more at www.girlscoutsgwm.org.
About Girl Scouts of the Green and White Mountains: Girl Scouts of the Green and White Mountains is recognized throughout New Hampshire and Vermont as a leading expert on girls. Our Girl Scout Leadership Experience is a one-of-a-kind leadership development program for girls, with proven results. It is based on time-tested methods and research-backed programming that helps girls take the lead—in their own lives and in the world. Through our exciting and challenging programs, Girl Scouts not only participate but also take the lead in a range of activities—from kayaking, archery, and camping, to coding, robotics, financial literacy training, and beyond! Serving more than 10,000 girls throughout New Hampshire and Vermont, girls discover the fun, friendship, and power of girls together. Visit www.girlscoutsgwm.org.