All of our volunteers deserve a spotlight because they make sure our Girl Scouts thrive! This week we are recognizing an extra-special volunteer from Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana (GCNWI), Cyndee Timmerman!
Read on to learn more about Cyndee’s work for our council, in her own words.
Making Precious Memories
I was a Girl Scout when I was in elementary school and I absolutely loved it. I remember singing songs and being silly with my friends, going to a sleepover in our town’s Girl Scout Little House. I remember selling cookies door to door and trying to meet my 100-box goal that seemed almost impossible at the time. All the girls in our troop that sold 100 boxes got to go on a trip to an amusement park that year. That was a big deal for me because I lived in a very small town in Kansas, hours away from any amusement park. I ended up meeting my goal and getting to go on the trip, and it was the first time I ever had the chance to ride on a big roller coaster. I was terrified, but my best friend was also on the trip and she told me not to be scared. I listened to her and ended up loving it.
I wanted my daughter to have the same experiences I had when she started school. Since there weren’t any Daisy troops at her school, I created one and became the leader. We started out with 12 girls in our troop during her kindergarten year and this past year, my third year as a leader, we became a multi-level troop with 26 girls.
At the very first service unit meeting that I attended, I met our Service Unit Manager and told her I would be happy to help her if she ever needed anything. She soon took me up on my offer and asked me to be the Fall Product coordinator for our entire service unit. Although I had never sold Fall Product before, I willingly took on the role. I have also helped our service unit with cookie sales the past two years, and will be a co-manager of our service unit this year in preparation to become the Service Unit Manager next year!
Although I have a busy life outside of Girl Scouts, I love everything about Girl Scouts and find it worth my time to volunteer.
I want to give girls the opportunity to try new things and have experiences that they might not have otherwise. Since we live in Chicago, I really want my daughter to be able to experience nature like I did growing up in Kansas. I want her to experience camping, canoeing, and all the other million fun things that there is to do in nature.
I remember a moment from a Girl Scout training session that I attended, where a leader shared that her goal was to get girls out of the zip code that they live in. That is also my goal as a leader. As a child, I never had the chance to travel internationally, but I hope to be able to give the girls in my troop that chance as a young adult one day.
I have so many great memories as a Girl Scout leader that is hard to narrow it down to just one! From the very first troop meeting, where we taught the girls what it meant to give someone a compliment and we had them practice by going around the circle and giving each other a compliment, to the time we read a book about Juliette Gordon Low and learned how brave she was to start an organization like this for girls during a time that it was unacceptable for them to play outside and do fun things in nature.
We have visited so many cool places and done so many fun things in just three years even though half of that time was during a pandemic, that I can’t imagine all of the fun experiences we still have to come! We have gone hiking several times, toured a vet’s office, a fire department, and a police department, made gingerbread houses with residents at a nursing home, went to a hockey game, went to a musical, created and maintained a sensory garden for our school, went indoor climbing together, made pet beds for a pet shelter, donated food to a food pantry, experienced a cat café, cuddled with bunnies, and rode horses.
For one of our service projects this year, the girls voted on making blessing bags for those without homes. I had the older girls in our troop plan this project and shop for the items needed for the bags. They did an incredible job leading this project and helping the younger girls assemble the bags.
Although sometimes it feels like I’ve bit off more than I can chew, I always end up being able to juggle it all and happy that I did when it’s over. A grandmother recently pointed out to me that my children will not always be this age and I won’t regret spending this valuable time with them creating memories. Do you want your children to remember sitting at home watching tv with you or would you rather them remember going camping and canoeing with you?
Thank you to Cyndee for your years of service and contributions!
Whether you have kids, grandkids, or no kids of your own, you can have a front-row seat to the fun and community, too. Press play and volunteer with Girl Scouts. You’ve got what it takes to change girls’ lives!
Your time to shine? Now!
Her next adventure to take, new territory to explore, or barrier to break, is all waiting her in the new Girl Scout year! We have carefully curated experiences to help girls think creatively and discover their interests, passions and ambitions without limitations.
On-time renewal ends today, Sept. 30! Press play on the new membership year and allow Girl Scouts to continue being that guiding light down her path to self-discovery.