Between work, family, errands, and all of the social activities that compete for your attention, why should being a Girl Scout volunteer top your priority list this year? Well, as someone who has been volunteering with Girl Scouts as a troop leader for almost 7 years now, I can easily say that being a Girl Scout volunteer is the best–and after reading this post, I’m sure you’ll agree!

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Though easy access to the delicious cookies is a perk, there’s so much more to giving back to Girl Scouts than enabling your sweet tooth. Today I’m sharing with you the top 5 reasons you should volunteer with Girl Scouts.

1. You’ll develop skills and talents you never knew you had.

One of the best things about volunteering with Girl Scouts is all of the benefits that you get from the experience. In fact, being a Girl Scout volunteer is a great way to explore your strengths and add to your résumé in a tangible way. Whether you want to learn more about event planning or are looking to lend your graphic design skills to a worthy cause, Girl Scouts is the perfect place to spread your wings and try something new.

The great thing about volunteering with Girl Scouts is that you can choose a role that best fits you – from troop leaders to resident camp volunteers to Service Unit team members, there’s an important job for everyone. Do you love working directly with girls and planning fun activities?  Being a troop leader might be your calling. Are you great at working with and training adults? Perhaps a Service Unit role is for you! Explore the volunteer roles available and find the perfect fit for your interests and availability.

2. You’ll find friendships that stand the test of time.

Everyone knows that Girl Scouts is the best place to make lifelong friends – in fact, Girl Scouts of Northern California is home to over 30,000 adult volunteers waiting for you to join their ranks! That’s 30,000 opportunities for you to meet like-minded women and men who will be there to support you, encourage you, and share in your accomplishments for years to come.

3. You’ll create once-in-a-lifetime memories that last.

With your new Girl Scout friends in tow, you’ll swap stories at Discoveree, laugh ’til you cry at your troop’s spring campout, and beam with pride as you watch your girls bridge from Juniors to Cadettes at Golden Gate Bridging. I mean, come on, how often do you get the chance to dance your way across the Golden Gate Bridge with 6,000 of your closest friends!?

4. You’ll enjoy the adventure of seeing your girls try new things.

Girl Scouts is one of the only youth programs that gives girls the opportunity to practice healthy risk-taking alongside a caring adult. As a volunteer, you’ll be there to witness your girl surpass her cookie sales goal, even when she thought she’d be 25 boxes short. You’ll be there to guide her as she attempts to build her first campfire at the service unit camporee, happily explaining the difference between “tinder” and “kindling” for the 15th time. And you’ll help her with the badge that enables her to code her first robot, unknowingly inspiring her to study computer science in college.

5. You’ll inspire local girls to be go-getters, innovators, risk-takers, and leaders.

Between preparing for next week’s meeting and helping your girls create a packing list for their day hike in Muir Woods, you’ll be having so much fun that you’ll forget who’s really changing lives here–you or your girls? While you’re busy empowering today’s girls to become tomorrow’s leaders, your girls will be inspiring you with their courage, confidence, character, and dedication to making the world a better place.

There are over 30,000 girls on waitlists to join Girl Scouts around the country–all they need is you! Ready to get started?

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Marissa VesselsMarissa Vessels—Marissa is a lifelong Girl Scout, Gold Awardee, and Marketing Manager at Girl Scout of Northern California. Though she’s originally from Southern California (Yay, Girl Scouts of San Gorgonio Council!), she moved to the East Bay to attend UC Berkeley and never looked back. One of her favorite things about Girl Scouting in the Bay Area is all the incredible hiking and camping options available to girls who love to explore the outdoors!