She scouts for ways to make a difference

Troop 1906 is not a typical Girl Scout troop, and Majorie Burrell is no typical troop leader. This troop has 55 members, ranging in age from 5 to 16, who live throughout the area – Lake Highlands, Dallas, Mesquite, Garland, Irving, Plano, Richardson and Pleasant Grove.

Leading such a large and diverse group of girls would be a challenge for any volunteer, but Burrell enjoys the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of these young women.

She spends a minimum of two to four hours daily preparing, coordinating and implementing the troop’s activities.

Burrell’s debut as a Girl Scout volunteer came four years ago, when she attended a meeting of parents interested in starting a troop for their daughters.

The Tejas Girl Scout Council representative looked at Burrell and told her: “You’re the only one taking notes. I think you’d make a great troop leader.”

Burrell agreed to give it a try, and she has been hard at work ever since.

As the mother of two daughters, she understands the value of giving children guidance at a young age. Her youngest daughter Janel, a sophomore at Lake Highlands High School, is a member of Troop 1906.

“Helping children to be better than what they think they can be is important to me,” Burrell says.

The troop meets three Monday evenings each month at New Mt. Zion Baptist Church. Burrell oversees a team of 18 adult volunteers who work with the girls. At the meetings, the girls meet as a group for a devotion period and then divide up by age groups.

The troop’s activities are as diverse as its members. For example, the youngest Girl Scouts, the Daisies, recently learned about safety from a female police officer, visited a fire station, and were taught how to dial 911 and how to safely cross a street.

At the same time, the Brownies were learning the Girl Scout promise and preparing bags filled with craft projects for children at Parkland Hospital.

Meanwhile, the Juniors visited the library, learned the Girl Scout promise in sign language and participated in self-esteem programs.

Burrell also coordinates the troop’s 25-member drill team, which practices two hours every Saturday morning in the “cold, sunshine or whatever,” Burrell says. The drill team has performed at Girl Scout events, church functions and area Christmas parades.

“She spends a great deal of time working with a troop that’s very diverse in age range,” says Meg Cadigan, public relations director for the Tejas Girl Scout Council.

“She’s a great volunteer because she involves the girls in projects of interest to them.”

Volunteer Opportunities

The Volunteer Center is a United Way agency that serves as a clearinghouse to recruit and refer volunteers for more than 750 agencies in Dallas. Thousands of volunteer positions are waiting to be filled. Call the Volunteer Center at 826-6767 for more information about these and other volunteer opportunities.

ONCE UPON A TIME: The Lakewood United Methodist Developmental Learning Center needs volunteer storytellers. Come brighten the season by sharing your favorite holiday tales with these children, ages three months to five years old. Volunteers also can lead music or dress as Santa Claus Protective Services, Trinity Ministry to the Poor and Family Outreach, East Dallas, are just some of the many agencies that need volunteers.

VISIT WITH SENIORS who have no families to spend time with them during the holidays. Visit residents at Doctor’s Health Care Center, Bryan Manor Nursing Home and Buckner Retirement Village. Many are open Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.


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