Events & Activities
Jackie Bucsi’s involvement in Girl Scouting began with her daughter.
Jackie, Chief Membership and Program Officer with Girl Scouts Heart of Michigan, says that exposure through daughter, Katy, now 25, opened her eyes to the many benefits the organization offers to girls.
“I think Katy is very capable of communicating with everybody. She has no fear of talking to people of all ages and is really personable,” Jackie says. “I credit Girl Scouts with giving her this confidence.
“It was a fun activity for her, something to keep her involved socially with her friends. She was lucky to have a great leader who made it fun.”
Jackie and her daughter were involved through Fair Winds, a GSHOM legacy council based in Flint. Katy remained actively involved through high school, choosing how she wanted to participate.
After working in the manufacturing field for many years, Jackie decided to return to college when her children were young. Shortly after receiving her bachelor’s degree in 1997, Jackie said Katy’s Girl Scout leader told her about a job opening with the Fair Winds Council. She signed on as Field Director, the precursor to Membership Specialist, a position which involved the recruitment and retention of adult volunteers and girls in communities served by the Council.
For Jackie, it’s been all about membership with the Girl Scouts since then, with the exception of one year she spent as executive director of The Arc Shiawassee, another non-profit organization.
“My supervisor at Girl Scouts Fair Winds Council took a different position and I was hired as the membership director in Flint where I stayed from 2001-2008,” Jackie said. “We served Genesee, Lapeer, Oakland and Shiawassee counties.”
Jackie has held her current position since September of 2008 when Girl Scout councils throughout the United States underwent realignments.
“One of the things that I really have always liked about Girl Scouts is we keep up with changes as girls change,” Jackie says. “Matching the girls’ needs and our increased use of technology have been huge changes.”
However, smartphones and iPads are no substitute for the critical work done by GSHOM’s more than 6,000 adult volunteers.
Jackie says the organization is totally reliant on volunteers to provide quality programming for the more than 20,000 girls served in GSHOM’s 34-county region. Working with the time constraints of these volunteers is a challenge, she says.
“When I first started working for Girl Scouts there were a lot more stay-at-home moms. Now we have many more families with both parents in the workplace,” Jackie says. “We need to continue to work on using technology to assist our volunteers in developing girls into leaders. We need to be respectful of their time.”
Although her duties with GSHOM consume many of her days and evenings, Jackie says she still finds time to be with her daughter, son, Brennan, age 21, and husband, Jerry. They like to walk, ride bikes and explore new places in Michigan and beyond.
“One of the things that reminds me of the importance of Girl Scouts is when I spend a couple of days with girls at camp,” Jackie says. “I always enjoy watching girls get to try something they never thought they’d be able to try.
“It’s very gratifying to watch them ride horses or scale the climbing wall while being cheered on by other girls.”
“I am grateful for all our volunteers and staff do to prepare girls to be leaders and make a difference, and am grateful to work for an organization that makes such a huge impact on girls”.