Shanna Bertrand of Johnson named Girl Scouts Volunteer of the Month for June
JOHNSON, VT – Leading two Girl Scout troops, mentoring other troop leaders in her area, and a member of the Alumnae Association of Girl Scouts of the Green and White Mountains, Shanna Bertrand has been named the Volunteer of the Month for June.
Bertrand, 40, of Johnson, was a Girl Scout for a few years in her childhood, but it was when her daughter needed a new troop that she dove into Girl Scouts. Her daughter has been a Girl Scouts since kindergarten as a Daisy, but as she grew older and wanted to start traveling, Bertrand stepped up to split the group into older and younger girls with different goals for their experiences.
“We didn’t want to keep the troops combined because we didn’t want to turn away girls,” she said.
They were planning a trip to the birthplace of Girl Scouts, Savannah, Georgia, prior to pandemic restrictions, now pushed off to next year. They also went camping two years ago at Camp Farnsworth as their first overnight adventure.
She and co-leader Sasha Yazdzik have worked to keep their Girl Scouts looking forward to being able to travel and even just meet in person after a year of COVID-19. Most meetings have been through Zoom. They prepared activity bags for girls to pick up so they can participate in activities, but it’s trivia, charades, and 20 Questions that keep the girls laughing and simply enjoying time together.
The pandemic had the silver lining of giving Bertrand a little more free time, but it was hard on her Girl Scouts. “We try our best to make it fun even though they’re in front of a screen.”
Prior to the restrictions of the last year, they have visited Ben & Jerry’s, enjoyed karaoke parties, gone apple picking, participated in parades, and give back to their community. The girls meet at a local church, so they have cleaned the building, helped with coffee hours, and planted flowers in window boxes. Plus, “We do always try to put something at cookie booths for the food shelter,” she said.
Yazdzik praised Bertrand for all she has taken on.
“She co-leads two troops, is the cookie mom for one them, co-runs the community service unit, is helping with the (alum) social committee, and is an active Girl Scout. She truly cares for the girls and giving them every opportunity that she can. When her daughter bridged out of one troop and into a new troop, she decided to stay as a leader in both troops to ensure there were enough leaders for all girls that wanted to join Girl Scouts. She continues to volunteer with Girl Scouts during any free time she has and is always willing to help out.”
When she’s not busy at her fulltime job with a hotel chain or leading a troop, Bertrand is on the board of directors of the Girl Scout Alumnae Association, where she is a now member of the communications committee rather than the social committee, and leads the group’s book club.
But it all comes back to the girls.
“I’ve often said I chose the wrong profession,” she said. “I should have done something with kids. I enjoy the Daisy-Brownie age – the kids are cute and fun, down for anything. It’s fun to watch these girls grow. You get to know them. They’re funny! People don’t talk to kids. They’re so much fun!”
Girl Scouts of the Green and White Mountains is grateful for all Shanna Bertrand has given to Girl Scouts over the years, and is proud to call her Volunteer of the Month.
To find out more about joining Girl Scouts as a girl or adult, see 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.