Girl Scouts need more leaders as girls wait for new troops

MOLINE, Illinois-- The Girl Scouts of Eastern Iowa and Western Illinois say they need hundreds of people to step up to become leaders and volunteers. The organizations estimates there are 300 girls in the Quad Cities that aren't able to join right now because they don't have leaders to start new troops.

"They absolutely want to be Girl Scouts but unless we have somebody step up, sometimes they don't get to be," Vice President of Development Shelly Wells Cain says.

Amanda Bergeson started her daughter's Brownie troop when she was in kindergarten as a way for her to see her friend who went to a different school. Now, they're in third grade.

"The Girl Scouts came in and said they were looking for leaders," Bergeson recalls. "And they were kind of surprised they had two ladies who were going to raise their hands and say, 'Okay, we'll start a troop.'"

She works with her co-leader Julie Dean-McCurdy to plan two meetings a month, with activities, field trips and volunteer days.

"Sometimes you just have to make time for our future," Bergeson says. "And our kids are our future, so I think that the Girl Scouts help build character for our girls."

And she says she has a great support system to make it all possible. She says all of the girls' parents are always willing to help carpool, buy snacks and supplies, and run activities during their meetings.

"Sometimes it sounds a little big," Wells Cain says. "They don't always think they have the tools or skill sets to be a Girl Scout leader. But we say anyone who makes a good role model can be a Girl Scout leader."

You don't have to be a parent or a woman to become a leader. Wells Cain says they look to college students and empty-nesters to offer up some of their time.

Garfield Elementary, John F. Kennedy Catholic School, Willard Elementary and Roosevelt Elementary are just a few of the schools the Girl Scouts say are interested in starting troops.

The Girl Scouts are hosting a volunteer night on Tuesday, Oct. 23 from 6-9 p.m. in the East Village of Davenport. People can learn more about how to volunteer, become a leader or start a troop.

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