Jane Doyle—Someone You Should Know

April 2015 View more

SYSK_nm jane doyle 1_800pxWhen Jane Doyle joined the Brownies in 2nd grade she had no idea it would lead to a lifetime of scouting. The Lisle grandmother, who went from a girl scout to a leader and beyond, was recently inducted into the Girl Scouts Hall of Fame for Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana after more than 35 years of service.

How did you feel when you found out about the award?

You have to be nominated by someone with four letters of recommendation from people who know you. When I received a letter saying I was being inducted I felt very honored. But one thing about the Girl Scouts is that there are lots of dedicated volunteers who are just happy to go about their business. To be honest, I don’t know why you want to talk to me, but I’m always happy to talk about the Girl Scouts.

How did you first get into scouting?

We lived in Rock Island in the Quad Cities and my mother put me in the Brownies from 2nd grade through 8th grade. I remember going to overnight camps in Illinois State Park. It was great fun. I earned the curved bar award (the highest in scouting at that time).

What made you return to scouting as an adult?

When my daughter wanted to become a Brownie they needed a leader, so I volunteered. Back in those days, we had the advantage of a lot of training with lots of program ideas. Every girl in the troop received their gold award by the time they left, which was a real accomplishment.

Besides being a leader, what else did you do?

I recruited other leaders, leading a service unit. I also served on the local DuPage County Board and I’ve been to national conventions as a delegate where I met other Girl Scout leaders from all over the country.

How do you help the girl scouts now?

Since 2000, I have volunteered in the Girl Scout office in Lisle. I work as their historian. We accept donations of old material and archive it. Our collection is very extensive. We have old books and uniforms that date back to 1912. We use them for displays in libraries and museums. I’m currently working with a Daisy troop in La Grange that is putting on a fashion show including some of the early uniforms.

Why do you feel scouting is so good for girls?

They learn that they can do anything they set their minds to. They can learn leadership skills. Badge work teaches them things they might have known nothing about previously.

How has it changed over the years?

Back in my time, we were led more by the leaders. Nowadays, girls are asked what they want to do. I think it’s better because girls have now have so many more opportunities so they should be able to explore them.

Do you think the Girl Scout movement is as relevant today as it used to be?

I think it’s more relevant today. For example, we have a program for older girls called Camp CEO which we run in the summer. Women CEO’s spend the day with them so the girls can really find out what’s available to them (regarding a career path).

The Girl Scout movement is obviously a big part of your life. What else do you do?

I work part time raising funds for the Benedictine Sisters in Lisle. I also volunteer for special events at the Morton Arboretum. My whole family enjoys it there. I find volunteering is a fun way to expand your horizons.

Photo by Robyn Sheldon