Erin Buck is leader of Troop 10659
LEBANON, NH – Some volunteers just stand out. No matter how busy she is – and she IS busy – Erin Buck enthusiastically and passionately gives her time to Girl Scouts as leader of Troop 10659 in Lebanon, as well as helping other troop leaders in her area. Girl Scouts of the Green and White Mountains has named her its Volunteer of the Month for December.
Buck, 42, of Lebanon leads a troop of 20 Girl Scouts in grades K-7. They meet at Mount Lebanon School and co-leader Cally Lavigne’s home. She is the mother of two and works as the fitness director for the Upper Valley Aquatic Center (UVAC), and developed the PALS for Life program, which helps breast cancer survivors with physical activity. She manages a team of both full -time and part-time trainers and instructors. Her roles give her a platform to encourage UVAC's community to be a part of blood drives, take part in fundraisers, and supporting other nonprofits and their efforts by doing things like serving dinner for those less fortunate.”
Buck is eager to give her Girl Scouts experiences and consistency that include fun.
“It also includes support,” she said, “and someone that they can count on.” She is accommodating for the many families with differing needs served by her troop.
Buck has also taken on the role of community product sales coordinator – a fancy term for cookie organizer. She works hard to keep the troops in the Lebanon area stocked with cookies so they can fund their many activities.
Deborah Carney has known Buck for several years, with her granddaughter taking part in the troop.
“Erin is compassionate, patient, flexible, funny, and makes every child feel special,” she said. “I could write pages and pages on how well Erin builds and nurtures relationships especially with the girls, parents/guardians, and community members. Some of the community organizations she works with include the Lebanon School District; Woman Police Chief in Norwich, VT; the Alzheimer’s Association; CHaD; Hero participation; Upper Valley Aquatic Association; Listen community dinner; belly dancing at The Lebanon Opera House; Henderson's Gardening; Halloween and caroling at Genesis; and more.
Carney’s granddaughter put it this way: "She takes us on fun trips to amazing places and encourages us to do our best. We have a lot of fun at the cookie booths and play games at meetings. Ms. Erin is really nice and supports us."
Buck recalls enjoying Girl Scouting as a child, particularly the sense of safety and community it brought her. Like many troop leaders, her adult participation began as she became involved with the troop her daughter joined. When the leader at the time couldn’t continue, she and another mother stepped up and decided that weekly meetings would be essential for building rapport and relationships. They have worked hard to be attentive to the needs of the Girl Scouts as they grew and entered middle school.
“We really hit the jackpot. We locate ourselves within an elementary school, and it’s evident that it helps our parents be successful,” she said. “People feel supported that we’re at the school, and our administration has been nothing but fond of having us there.”
The troop has two retired school teachers involved, plus Buck, who was previously certified in K-8 and carries as master’s degree in elementary education. They like to do community service projects, travel to places like Sturbridge Village, gain business and life skills with Girl Scout Cookie sales, and just have fun together.
“The work is, for me, important,” she said. “I do things because I feel like I have the ability to do it. I’m fortunate. There’s a sense of being able to be a part of anyone’s momentum to try a climbing wall for the first time in Girl Scouts. Volunteering allows me to be a participant in my children’s worlds. It allows me to make connections with these families that are part of that social school community. And have extensions of myself – these beautiful downlines of community.”
Buck was also recognized by the Girl Scout council with its Volunteer of Excellence award in 2019, noting her many contributions to the organization.
“We are raising great women but also great leaders,” she said. “That’s what I feel my efforts are contributing to.”
Erin Buck is certainly helping Girl Scouts to make the world a better place and to develop young women of courage, confidence, and character. Girl Scouts of the Green and White Mountains is proud to name her its Volunteer of the Month.
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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.