GEORGIA, VT – You could say that Jennifer Bonneville’s blood runs green. She’s been a Girl Scout most of her life, as both a girl and a leader, and her enthusiasm for mentoring girls is inspiring to all who know her. She has been chosen as the Volunteer of the Month for May by Girl Scouts of the Green and White Mountains.
Bonneville, 38, moved to Vermont a few years ago from California. Georgia is a small town of just over 4,500 people on the shores of Lake Champlain, north of Burlington.
But it didn’t take long for her to find her purpose in her new town, becoming a troop leader, then a volunteer service coordinator who helps other troops.
“Jennifer is the kind of Girl Scout who moves into a new town from California and contacts the office and finds out who is in the service unit and attends the first meeting she can,” said Cheryl Heneveld, volunteer service coordinator for Girl Scouts of the Green and White Mountains. She added that Bonneville has done a lot in the world of Girl Scouting, including running summer camp in Rhode Island for several years. Her co-leader, Jenny Parent, counts on Bonneville’s experience. “Jenn’s thoughtful and cheerful demeanor is always welcomed at any Girl Scout event, whether it is a service unit meeting, a troop meeting, or a weekend activity. As a volunteer service coordinator, she works hard to see that everyone has the opportunity to deepen their own troop’s experiences with fresh ideas and solid support.”
Bonneville’s mother started the troop that she began with as a girl, and stayed in Girl Scouts through high school. “My high school was camping and earning badges,” she said. “I was an 800-box Girl Scout Cookie seller. I did that four or five years, so I did the backpacking programs with Girl Scouts of the San Francisco Bay. We liked going to the old places and exploring the history of the area.”
When she was 17, she started working at Girl Scout camp, where her mother was a director. While working as a program specialist, she met a woman who got her involved with Camp Hoffman in Rhode Island. She directed that summer camp for three years, and spent a total of seven years there.