In various ways, Lynn Wilbur’s career of supporting Girl Scouts and WAGGGS (World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts) stretches over a span of 32 years. During that time, she’s led troops and traveled the world to places like England, Japan, the Philippines and others. Through it all she maintained her positive Girl Scout attitude by continuing to inspire girls around the world, including her daughter who she believed should experience the opportunities that Girl Scout offers.
“As soon as my daughter turned five, I became a troop leader in what was then known as Tejas Council, now GSNETX,” said Lynn. “We were the last of a ten-year project of kindergarten Brownies. The Daisy program was established a year later.” Her daughter, Nicole, eventually earned her Girl Scout Gold Award in 1995.
Originally from Wisconsin, Lynn began her very own Girl Scout journey in Racine where she was a member of Girl Scout Troop 7, where she was the only one to earn the Curved Bar award. Equivalent to today’s Gold Award, the Curved Bar award was known as the highest honor in Girl Scouting from 1940-1963.
Lynn believes there are several people and instances that encouraged her to become a troop volunteer. Lynn’s mother was her troop leader for the first five years of her Girl Scout experience and many of her childhood memories involve Girl Scout activities. These experiences, among others, fueled her subsequent desire to create those same memories with her daughter and other Girl Scouts.
“My realization [was] that the only way to make the world a more accepting place for all was to train girls in these values and have them teach them to others,” Lynn said.
Lynn remembers her time traveling the world and interacting with Girl Guides as one of her favorite things about being a volunteer.
“I had no idea where in the world it would take me,” Lynn said. “It has taken me all over the world. I love the people I meet in the organization. People, both wealthy and otherwise, who put service to others above material items and who strive to make a difference in the well-being of girls and women globally.”
From her time in WAGGGS, Lynn has made “treasured” friendships with people including the grandchildren of Lord and Lady Baden-Powell, royalty from Denmark and Malaysia, and especially the girls who “just want opportunities and skills to achieve success as they transition into adulthood.”
Surely someone as passionate about Girl Scouting like Lynn would have a good idea of the positive influences it can have in girls’ lives.
“Their training begins right here at the troop level where they develop leadership skills and a sense of caring about the issues affecting their global sisters,” Lynn said. “We try to empower them to make a difference, whether in their community or in the global community.”
Outside of her commitments to Girl Scouts, Lynn also dedicates her time to the National Audubon Society, the Rogers Wildlife Rehabilitation Center for birds (Lynn shares her home with two parrots!), and others. However Girl Scouts took such a strong hold of her heart that she just can’t stay away. Today she continues to organize the annual Camp Skills program, serve as service unit treasurer, assist new Girl Scout Junior troops attending low-income schools, and a host of other projects and activities. She even helped to establish the Trefoil Guild where she currently serves as chair.
“As I look back on my life, there were both good and bad decisions I have made. One of the best decisions was my decision to become a Girl Scout volunteer. I didn’t realize that I could have been a Girl Scout volunteer all along. I thought I had to wait until I had a daughter,” Lynn said. “Looking back though, I realize that I never really left Girl Scouts. Even though we moved when I began high school, and there was no troop for me in my new city, the Girl Scout Promise & Law remained a blueprint for the way I chose to live my life, a life of service to others.”
“Seeing them leave my troop, enter college, obtain success in the careers of their dreams, and then go forth to serve others never gets old.”