Spotlighting GS Volunteer Sharon Teagarden-King
“A dean of a college told my husband and I one time, ‘if my college had one opening left and two applications, and one of them was an honors student in all the clubs, and the second was student with less desirable GPA, but was in Scouting, we would select the one who had Scouting experience.’ After hearing that, we took our daughter and signed her up as a Girl Scout Brownie,” Sharon Teagarden-King said.
That powerful story changed the lives of Girl Scout alumnae, lifetime member and volunteer, Sharon Teagarden-King and her family. Now an avid Girl Scout supporter, troop co-leader and recruiter in Waterville, KS, Sharon and her family are dedicated to helping girls thrive.
Sharon’s Girl Scout experience began as a girl when she lived in Western New York, starting as a Brownie. As a Brownie and Junior, she loved going to Girl Scout camp, taking trips to places like Canada and spending time with her friends (one girl is still her best friend today!). While her girl experience may have ended in Juniors because of a lack of troop leaders in her town, it restarted with a vengeance when her daughters started their Girl Scouts adventure.
Sharon and her husband, Don, lived in Newport, RI when they first heard the power of Girl Scouting from the dean of the college. When they decided to sign their daughters up, there was a lack of troop leaders, so the two stepped up to lead the troop when daughters Vickie and Susan joined. In addition to leading a troop, Sharon found that her skills as a nurse could be used with Girl Scouts and she became Camp Nurse for Rocky Farms Camp in Rhode Island.
As the girls progressed in Girl Scouts, so did Sharon and Don. Sharon began serving as service unit manager, junior troop leader and on the elections committee of the Rhode Island Girl Scouts. Don helped lead the troop and became the Camp Coordinator. “At the time, Don was the only man in the camp training! Even though he was with all women, he took it and became the camp manager,” Sharon said of her husband. How awesome to have that kind of parent involvement!
In 1997, the family packed up and moved to Kansas to help Sharon’s parents. Once in Waterville, KS, she picked up being a troop leader again and continued to lead her daughters’ troop for about two years. During her “break” from leading Girl Scouts, she ran a group called “Leos,” which is the youth version of the Lions Club organization. Eventually, the call of Girl Scouts came back and Sharon was asked to help support the girls of Waterville as they tried to bring troops back into regular meetings and recruitment.
While Sharon may have had a short break from actively building troops, she was incredibly involved in the town and helping the local youth thrive. To this day, she continues to run a local youth theatre group, is involved in the Lions Club, is active in her church, plays Mrs. Claus at Christmas, is an active member of Daughters of the American Revolution, runs the town newspaper with her husband and is on the board of the opera house committee! Talk about an active volunteer!
Today, Sharon is a recruiter for the Service Unit 702 and the co-leader for the multilevel troop in Waterville, which now has 14 Girl Scouts! One of the best things about the Waterville troop is how many amazing resources they have and the willingness of the town to support the various interests of the girls. It’s one thing Sharon really loves about the organization – that girls can thrive in whatever area they’re passionate about. “Girl Scouts has such a variety – girls can build on their own interests and become leaders,” Sharon said.
Being in a small town has its advantages – like being able to use the opera house to earn badges that center around the arts, and easy access to businesses willing to help girls learn. Sharon and her husband are always looking for ways to get the community involved in supporting the local girls. What an awesome, connected community supporting girls!
We appreciate Sharon, Don and their family for all they’ve done for Girl Scouts and their continued work. She’s dedication is so strong because she believes in the power of Girl Scouts to help girls thrive. “I love Girl Scouts because it makes girls feel special. Through the years, I’ve seen girls blossom because of being in Girl Scouts, including my own daughters. It makes them confident,” Sharon said. Thank you to Sharon, Don and all the amazing volunteers who make Girl Scouts possible!
If you know an awesome volunteer, share their story in the comments below!