As we come to the end of Volunteer Appreciation month, Girl Scouts of West Central Florida has one more volunteer spotlight to share. Today, we are highlighting the great work of Sheila Hill and Sheryl Vannetta. We have so many outstanding volunteers throughout our council, but these two volunteers in particular work to make sure ALL girls are able to have a true Girl Scout experience.
At Girl Scouts, we value diversity and inclusiveness and their troop is a shining example of both. For the past 25 years, Sheila and Sheryl have been leaders of Troop 276 in the Sunburst community. This troop consists of a diverse group of Girl Scouts with physical or mental challenges. Despite these challenges, this leadership pair provides a wide variety of opportunities for girls such as dances, overnight camping, horseback riding, talent shows, service projects and so many other adventures. Through these experiences, the girls face challenges, learn about themselves and their abilities, and feel included and empowered.
Girls are taught how to share and help others in this troop. When they are presented with an obstacle they never say “we can’t do it,” rather they respond “how can we do it?” The troop then works together as a group to find the solution and overcome the obstacle.
Girls are accepted into their troop from all over Tampa Bay. Even after they reach adult age, Sheila and Sheryl continue to have them participate in troop activities and events. Participating in this troop allows these women to feel capable and included in a way that they do not feel in other parts of their lives.
Sheila and Sheryl have the ability to serve many different kinds of special needs and make families feel comfortable knowing their girls are not only safe, but having a fun learning experience that instills the values and lessons that Girl Scouts hope to promote. These leaders adapt activities to the group while still teaching the same skills all scouts learn. For example when camping, girls are taught how to make their beds to more advance camping skills such as outdoor cooking.
These two amazing women are more than just troop leaders; they are work within our council to bring events and training opportunities to adults. Sheila has been on numerous planning committees, participates and shares her talents at events. Sheryl is an Adult Learning Facilitator specializing in the Out-Of-Doors. Both are on the Camp Committee for Camp Dorothy Thomas. Most recently, Sheila and Sheryl were honored at our Adult Awards Ceremony as recipients of the Trefoil Award for their outstanding work throughout the council.
When describing the girls in her troop Sheryl Vannetta shared “These girls are a treasure to have in your troop.” The real treasure is having passionate and caring leaders like Sheila and Sheryl in our council to deliver outstanding service to the girls of west central Florida!