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February Volunteer of the Month: Barbara Connelly

Volunteer Banner-Barbara Connelly

Lower Waterford woman helps Girl Scouts achieve their best

LOWER WATERFORD, VT – It is caring and dedicated adult volunteers who make it possible for Girl Scouts to become the leaders and change makers that make the world a better place. Barbara Connelly is one of those indispensable volunteers for Girl Scouts of the Green and White Mountains, which has named her its Volunteer of the Month for February.

The council, which serves Girl Scout across Vermont and New Hampshire, is grateful to Connelly, 67, of Lower Waterford, for her many years of service to Girl Scouts, including as a troop leader, and in particular for her work on its Gold Award Support Committee. This committee is charged with giving Girl Scouts in grades 9-12 the aid they need to earn the highest honor in Girl Scouts for their level. The Gold Award requires at least 80 hours of work on a project that makes a lasting impact for the better on the Girl Scout’s community, state, nation, or world. She meets monthly with the Girl Scouts pursuing this honor.

“Barbara has been on the Gold Award Committee for many years,” said Daley Buckwell, outreach support specialist for the Girl Scout council. “She is very dedicated to making sure the girls are set up for success: she hands out criticism and suggestions with humor and encouragement and really helps keep girls accountable and on the right track. She always helps with our Young Women of Distinction ceremonies, showing the girls she is there for them at many different points along the way.”

“I think it’s very important that they get a chance to present their proposals, listen to ways to expand them if necessary,” she said, noting that most girls tend to “think too small. The committee tries to help them see something that’s a little larger in scope. Girls are real good at service projects and trying to show them how to make it wider so it affects more or has a bigger effect on their issue that they’re looking for.”

In the case of one Girl Scout looking to clean up a town trail, Connelly suggested speaking to the public about the project, mapping the trail, considering safety aspects, building a kiosk at the beginning of the trail, and how to celebrate opening the trail.

“It amazes me how a lot of these girls step up and do some of the amazing things that they do,” she said. “It’s important that the girls see there are older women who are encouraging them, too.”

Connelly is a lifetime member of Girl Scouts, who is part of a multi-generational Girl Scout family. Her mother, sister, and daughter are all Girl Scouts, while her husband and sons took part in Boy Scouts.

“My daughter went all the way through, including getting her Gold Award,” she said. She created a curriculum for St. Johnsbury Academy called Think, to get students to discuss destructive decisions like driving drunk and their consequences.

Connelly loves music, and is a retired music teacher, organist and choir director for United Community Church in Waterford, and is a round dance cuer.  

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 

Girl Scouts of the Green and White Mountains serves girls throughout New Hampshire and Vermont through volunteer-run troops, events, and virtual programs. Visit to learn more.