Scouting for more troop leaders

By Anna Yee

July 31, 2013 Updated Aug 1, 2013 at 10:14 AM CDT

EAST PEORIA, Ill. -- For the scouts of Troop 4771, living by the girl scout law means learning a thing or two you might not get to learn in a typical classroom.

"You can make things and be creative and stuff," said girl scout Paige Creviston, 8. "And explore the things you haven't done before."

"If we were to have a project at school, I would know a little more about it," said girl scout Jaiden Erickson-Witt, 8, of East Peoria.

The lessons go deeper than the stitching on their vests.

"We try to incorporate civic projects that kind of correlate with whatever journey we're working on," said Chad Emery, Girl Scout troop leader.

So far, they've collected clothes for the needy and even made a PSA video about equality.

Emery makes sure his scouts get the most out of their projects.

Emery is one of about 5,000 troop leaders in central Illinois who manage more than 21,000 girl scouts, and counting.

However, as the number of scouts continue to grow, the amount of leaders on board aren't keeping up.

"The girls can be individual girl scouts," said Emery. "They don't necessarily have to be attached to a troop... but, until they get enough adults starting new troops, as far as having the girls meet with other girls their same age group, working on the same things, they're kind of putting those girls on hold."

That's why the local council is calling for more volunteer leadership.

"You don't have to be the typical stay-at-home mom with free time to plan all these meetings," said Emery. "You can be a full-time employee. You don't even have to be a female, obviously."

And you don't have to pay to put on events.

Emery said all troop activities are made possible through fundraisers and council resources, which all go back into giving girls like these a chance to learn and grow, together.

The Girl Scouts of Central Illinois is looking to fill various volunteer positions, even if you cannot commit to a regular schedule.

For more information on volunteering, visit www.GetYourGirlPower.org.

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