Photo taken prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It’s an organization that I believe in, that is truly there for the girls,” Charlotte Arends says, her breath catching as she gets emotional. “As a leader, it doesn’t matter who you are, if you touch just one girl’s life, then it’s worth it.”
Arends has been a Girl Scout Troop Leader in Nevada for the past 19 years. She currently leads three different troops, even though her children are grown. Over the years, she’s seen a lot of girls grow and change because of Girl Scouts. She’s also seen change in herself.
“It’s helped me a lot too as an adult; I used to be a shy, stand in the back of the room type of person and now I’m out there in the forefront. I’ve learned patience, humility. I’ve learned that it’s OK to fail because that’s how you learn,” she said.
As a leader for three troops, the Service Unit Manager, and Product Chair for her Service Unit, Arends stays very busy.
“Having done this for so many years, you kind of get into a groove of what works and what doesn’t work. With younger girls, you have to provide a little more guidance. As the girls get older, they start to figure out what they want to work on and what they want to do,” she said.
She’s fueled by the impact she’s seen in the lives of girls.
“It [Girl Scouts] gives them the confidence to go out and pursue their goals and their dreams. It gives them life skills too. Seeing them get that confidence in themselves is what matters,” she said.
Arends hopes her Girl Scouts leave their time with her with the understanding that it is OK to be yourself. To other volunteers, she has one message:
“You don’t have to be everything, you don’t have to look at what other leaders have done and feel like you’re failing your girls. You and your troop are unique and you have to do what’s best for you and them to enjoy Girl Scouts,” she said.
To become a Troop Leader or Troop Support Volunteer, visit our website. For a limited time and while supplies last, new K-3 Troop Leaders will receive a Basics in a Box kit that includes all of the supplies for their first four Girl Scout meetings.