Outstanding volunteer Karen Schmitz from O’Fallon has been honored with the Sustained Service Award by Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois. The Sustained Service Award recognizes volunteers who continue to provide exemplary service for a significant number of years after receiving the Appreciation Pin or Honor Pin.
"Karen has been a troop leader many years, long after her own daughter graduated high school,” said fellow volunteer Debbie McAuliffe. “She is dedicated to providing enriching experiences for the girls in her troop and is often sought out by other leaders hoping to learn from her extensive outdoor skills.”
Karen is celebrated for her love and respect for the outdoors, as well as for teaching girls how to care for the world around them. Her troops have traveling and exploring new activities. She has led many memorable camping and canoeing adventures that included a weeklong trip to Charleston, South Carolina and Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. She also guided older girls to mentor younger girls to develop their own confidence and leadership.
"Karen doesn’t just lead troops. She gives them lifelong lessons, takes them out of their comfort zone, provides opportunities that challenge them in safe and enriching ways and allows them to achieve their dreams and goals as Girl Scouts,” said volunteer Winnie Kenney.