Spotlighting: Service Unit 682’s Product Sales Manage Jim Savage
It’s cookie time! As girls are out building their business skills, earning proceeds and delivering cookies, volunteers are behind the scenes making it possible. Product Sales Managers (PSMs) are service unit level volunteers who manage the Cookie Program for their areas. One of our amazing PSMs is Jim Savage, a police officer, Eagle Scout and Girl Scout dad from Gardner, KS. Jim works tirelessly to provide an exceptionally organized program that helps girls learn vital business skills.
Jim Savage loves Scouting and knows the power of this program firsthand. As an Eagle Scout, he learned many life skills that propelled him toward success. “What I tell people is – this is a program that will stay with you for the rest of your life,” Jim said. With such a belief in the program, it’s no wonder that all four of the Savage children are involved in Scouting.
Maggie (14), Darby (10) and Kinsey (8) are all Girl Scouts and Jimmy (6) is a new Tiger Scout. In addition to his Girl Scout volunteer roles, Jim is Den Leader for Jimmy’s troop and is wife, Becky, leads Kinsey’s Troop 3140 and is the asst. leader for Darby’s Troop 1634! Even with busy schedules – like Darby’s 16hr/wk competitive gymnastics commitments, they value Girl Scouts because it helps their kids in their own ways. While the Silver Award helped Maggie break out of her shell, a more competitive, outgoing Darby has learned to cooperate and share leadership roles with others in her troop.
Jim decided to become PSM 4 years ago after serving as Troop Cookie Dad with Maggie’s Troop 1200. He saw the power of the Cookie Program and an opportunity to use his skills to run it in a professional manner. “I’ve seen the effects of disorganization in other endeavors, so I approach the Cookie Program almost as a profession,” Jim said. This dedication makes Jim an exceptional PSM.
Making sure parents are connected and engaged is a particularly important to Jim because he knows it improves the experience for the girls. “It’s been my experience that when parents have a bad experience, they pull their kids from the program. I want to make sure that not only do the kids have a good time, but the parents are informed, engaged and happy for their girls,” Jim said.
Jim gets the most satisfaction from the Cookie Program when he sees girls learning the 5 Skills. “I want to make it a fun and fair program for all the girls […] and make sure the troops are talking about the 5 Skills. I love seeing the older girls help with accounting and using the skills they’ve learned,” Jim said.
“The Cookie Program is one program, but fits every girl differently. From Daisy to Ambassador Girl Scouts, you can alter it to get the results each girl needs […] so every girl gets a different experience and reaches goals she chooses,” Jim said.
In addition to being a resource for parents, Jim feels good knowing he’s a positive male role model for girls who may not have that influence in their lives. “I love having the opportunity to be a role model in our community, especially for girls that don’t have a male role model. I love talking to the girls and being able to provide them guidance,” Jim said.
At the end of the day, being involved with Girl Scouts means more time for Jim to spend with his daughters. As a dad, he hopes other dads see the opportunities Girl Scouts provides for dads to spend valuable time with their children. “…just because it says ‘Girl Scouts’ doesn’t mean dads can’t be part of it. Dads like to be involved with their daughters…and it doesn’t have to just be moms and girls […] It’s an invaluable opportunity because you can never have too much time with your kids,” Jim said.
We thank the entire Savage family for their incredible dedication to girls and making the Cookie Program an incredible learning opportunity for their service unit. He’s certainly earned the title “Man Enough to be a Girl Scout!” If you know of another awesome Girl Scout volunteer or dad, comment below!