Friday, June 19, 2015

Man Enough to be a Girl Scout

Girl Scout Dads Volunteer Their Time to Help Their Daughters Get the Girl Scout Experience

The Girl Scouts of Nassau County (GSNC) are getting ready for Father’s Day by celebrating the men who make Girl Scouting happen for their Girls! The amount of Girl Scout Troops available throughout Nassau County would not be possible if not for the many fathers who volunteer their time as Troop Leaders, Cookie Dads or members of the GSNC governance process.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of dual-income families in America increased 31 percent between 1996 and 2007. The 2013 report revealed that 59 percent of American families with children under 18 have two working parents, so it’s no surprise some Troops are led by mothers and some by fathers. Girl Scouting allows fathers to make a difference in girls lives through volunteering, as well as provide them the opportunity to participate in activities that strengthen their relationships with their daughters.  

“My involvement started when my wife asked if I wanted to enroll Ella in Daisy’s, and I said sure, what is a Daisy?” said Angelo Angelico, of Bellmore, NY. “During the recruiting meeting my wife was sick so I attended in her place, and once I realized the opportunity in front of me I became a Troop Leader, and I wouldn’t trade it for the world,” said Angelico.

When Angelico attended the recruiting meeting, he was told his daughter would not be able to join a Troop for at least a year due to the extensive waiting list in the area. When asked, Angelico jumped at the opportunity to become a Troop Leader, and in addition to his daughter, he allowed 17 other girls to become the Daisy Scouts of Troop #919.

“All of the girls in my Troop were just starting kindergarten, so it was a scary time for them in all aspects,” said Angelico. “After getting to know each other through Girl Scouts, they now continue to spend time together outside of Troop activities and I couldn’t be happier to announce that all 18 girls will be returning to Troop #919 for next year.”

“It is so important men understand they have the opportunity to be a significant role model to our Girl Scouts,” stated GSNC Executive Director and CEO Donna Ceravolo. “There are over 500 girls throughout Nassau County on a waiting list for a Troop and we encourage the men within our communities to consider volunteering their time to give them a chance to be a Girl Scout. It truly is a rewarding experience!”

Freeport, NY resident Eric Robinson started out seven years ago as the cookie dad for his daughter Maggie, and is now the Freeport Association Manager for cookies. His duties include meeting with all the Freeport troop Leaders and providing them with everything they need to ensure they have a good cookie sale.
Robinson is also responsible for the initiation of the Freeport area cupboard, which allows Troop Leaders to get their cookies directly from his house rather than having to travel to the headquarters.

“At any moment in time during cookie season I could have up to 250 cases of cookies in my house,” said Robinson. “It makes it so the Troop Leaders don’t have to travel as far, saving them a lot of time.”
Robinson loves that GSNC allows his girls to participate in so many activities, like singing the National Anthem with the Nassau County Girl Scout Choirs at City Field, as well as the learning opportunity provided to them through the counselors in training program at Camp Blue Bay in the Hamptons.

Robinson commends his wife Lydia for the amount of time she also gives to GSNC, and takes pride in knowing that they get to watch their daughters learn and grow as Girl Scouts while also accommodate other Girl Scouts in the Freeport area making their lives easier and giving them the opportunity to learn and grow as well.

East Meadow resident and retired New York City Police Office Jeff Strauber makes Girl Scouts a family affair. He puts his expert training to work for GSNC through volunteering for the “Go the Distance” Walkathon directing traffic, as well as helping his three daughters ages 8, 16, and 18 throughout their continued Girl Scout journeys. He attributes his involvement with the Girl Scouts to his wife, Troop Leader and GSNC staff member Victoria Strauber.

“I enjoy working with the Girl Scouts because I get to see it help young girls build their self-esteem and work on problem solving strategies with their peers,” said Strauber.

He appreciates Girl Scouts is a healthy outlet for girls to work on their self-image and eventually allows them to become wonderful young women.

“I jumped at the opportunity to be involved with anything my girls are a part of, it is a rewarding experience to see how much Girl Scouts has positively influenced them, and it is great to see they are all still involved in one way or another,” said Strauber.

His oldest daughter, Jessica, a girl scout since Kindergarten continues now as adult volunteer with her younger sister’s Troop and with council run programs. She also works at the Girl Scouts of Nassau County Cookie Cupboard. “When my oldest daughter hurt her back last year, she told me she was still going to work at the [Cookie] Cupboard despite her injury, and I told her that I would stick around and help her to do the heavy lifting,” said Strauber.

Strauber's 16 year old Girl Scout daughter Samantha has been in Girl Scouting since she was kindergarten.  His youngest, Daniella, is a Brownie in his wife’s Troop #1450.

Town of Hempstead resident Brandon Ray currently serves on the Board of Directors of GSNC. His involvement sparked from his understanding there is a need for women in the technology field, and the opportunities Girl Scouts gives their members lined up perfectly with his ideals.

Ray is the Regional Director of External Affairs for AT&T. In combination with his local efforts, AT&T also works nationally with the Girl Scouts to facilitate grants and encourage young women to focus on careers in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM).

“Even though I do not personally have kids yet, anytime I can empower a young lady to do something she loves, especially to provide an opportunity to expose them to a career in the STEM field, it gives me a great sense of joy and accomplishment,” said Ray.

Girl Scouts instills values into young girls that aid them throughout their entire lives. Through community service, volunteer opportunities and numerous leadership roles, Girl Scouts teaches young women many valuable lessons and allows them to grow into intelligent and educated young women. On top of the opportunities available to the Girl Scouts themselves, the organization also allows mothers and fathers to be a part of their daughter’s lives to both strengthen their relationships with one another through numerous activities, as well as grow individually.

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