Milton woman is integral to the success of five Girl Scout troops
MILTON, VT – Volunteers help Girl Scouts in innumerable ways, whether through large roles like troop leaders, or by providing support or occasional help. Laurie Himes is one of those behind-the-scenes people who make a Girl Scout’s experience come together. For all she does, Girl Scouts of the Green and White Mountains, the council serving Vermont and New Hampshire, its Volunteer of the Month for December.
Himes, 37, of Milton, assists with five different Girl Scout troops in the Winooski-Burlington area, helping girls who are as young as kindergartners through those in 12th grade. There are about 30 Girl Scouts in troops 13940, 30187, 52013, 58806, and 62648. And she’s not alone – about 30 adults volunteer alongside her. She is considered a co-leader for the five troops, is treasurer for her troops, and is also starting this year as the community product sales coordinator, or cookie organizer.
“She keeps everything well organized and is on top of everything!” said DeeDee Rice, Volunteer Support Specialist for the council.
Himes first volunteered for Girl Scouts while in college, leading a troop as part of an Americorps scholarship.
“I worked with that troop for a year,” she said, and went to New York City with them on a trip. Later, her daughter, Ariana, started kindergarten, and “I was like, we’re doing this!”
The pair have now been members for five years. “She really does enjoy it,” said Himes. “There are lots of things she likes to do. It gave her another group of friends to hang out with.”
The wide range of ages helps, too.
“It’s a unique and beneficial experience for everyone,” she said. “The little ones have someone to look up to, and the older ones have someone to lead.”
It’s her skills with spreadsheets that make Himes so valuable.
“Laurie was always willing to help, anything I asked,” said co-leader Amy Lothrop. “She’s an amazing organizer, incredible attention to detail. And a wizard with spreadsheets!”
Himes manages to keep track of Girl Scout Cookie proceeds, banking, and more.
“My troops account for a third of the county’s cookie sales,” noted Lothrop. “She the first one to jump in and help any troop out that needs help. Laurie set up all the Zoom meetings for troops. That took some stress off the leaders. Whatever activity I wanted to do, Laurie would put the materials together in a really creative way – more interesting than anything I thought of!”
For example, when Lothrop asked Himes to help with tree identification, Himes pulled a report on the trees of Winooski, pulled leaves, gathered pictures of leaves, and gave the Girl Scouts detailed tree information.
Lothrop said Himes helped them elevate their game, and the troops truly appreciate her.
“I graduated with a bachelor’s in accounting,” said Himes. “I enjoy doing spreadsheets and that type of thing.”
She’s now looking forward to what she hopes will be a successful cookie season starting in January, and is grateful for help from her “cookie partner,” Matt Perry, who will assist in the pickup and delivery of thousands of packages of the iconic cookies. And her Girl Scouts will take the proceeds from their sales to travel – some plan to visit Costa Rica this summer – attend Girl Scout camp, earn Girl Scouting’s highest honors, and more.
Himes encourages other adults to consider volunteering for Girl Scouts, as well as having their children join. She’s made friends and found true satisfaction in being able to assist as Girl Scouts find their true selves.
“You have to find what is your strength,” she said. “The experience and time you put in is worth it.”
She adds that her daughter has a lot of fun at meetings, and that it makes her feel good as a parent. And it’s a family endeavor, as her husband assists the troops and her 5-year-old son tags along.
Girl Scout of the Green and White Mountains is proud to call Laurie Himes its Volunteer of the Month for December, and thanks her for her service to girls and adult volunteers.
Both girls and adults are encouraged to join Girl Scouts. See more at www.girlscoutsgwm.org.
We Are Girl Scouts
Girl Scouts bring their dreams to life and work together to build a better world. Through programs from coast to coast, Girl Scouts of all backgrounds and abilities can be unapologetically themselves as they discover their strengths and rise to meet new challenges—whether they want to climb to the top of a tree or the top of their class, lace up their boots for a hike or advocate for climate justice, or make their first best friends. Backed by trusted adult volunteers, mentors, and millions of alums, Girl Scouts lead the way as they find their voices and make changes that affect the issues most important to them. To join us, volunteer, reconnect, or donate, visit girlscouts.org.
Girl Scouts of the Green and White Mountains serves girls throughout New Hampshire and Vermont through volunteer-run troops, events, and virtual programs. Visit www.girlscoutsgwm.org to learn more.