Written by John White
Rose Vermillion is a Hauppauge resident who was recently awarded the Volunteer of Excellence award
for her work with the Girl Scouts of Suffolk County. We recently interviewed Rose to understand what
this award was all about, to learn of her work with the Girl Scouts, and to get her perspective on
leadership for young women. Rose is active in the community and lives with her husband, Bob, and five
children in Hauppauge.
Q: How did you get involved with the Girl Scouts?
RV: I was active in Girl Scouts at an early age when I was in a troop myself. I worked at camps and in
other roles within the Scouts. In many ways it was a life-changing experience for me. As an adult I
registered my oldest daughter with the Girl Scouts as soon as she was born, with the intent of engaging
her in a local organization. I wanted to start a local troop, but was discouraged at many turns. I was
told there weren’t enough adult volunteers to accommodate the number of girls in my daughter’s
kindergarten school (25), and that there needed to be a “waiting list” that would accept girls on an
occasional basis. I persevered and eventually organized a troop.
Q: And did you yourself assume further leadership roles within the Scouts?
RV: Yes. For about three years I was the Service Unit Coordinator for all of Hauppauge which allowed me
to work across many groups and promote advancement for the girls. After that I was asked to be the
Gold Mentor for all of Suffolk County.
Q: What is a Gold Mentor?
RV: A Gold Mentor is the person who works with the girls who are working towards achieving their Gold
Award. The Gold level is comparable to what a Boy Scout earns as an Eagle Scout. There seems to be
less public recognition of the Gold Award vis-à-vis an Eagle Award, but I can tell you that it is no less
arduous and really requires a great amount of dedication by recipient. As a Gold Mentor I was able to
work with 15 girls over the past year, helping them plan and execute their projects. My daughter
earned the award and it made a difference in her getting a scholarship at St. Joseph’s College.
Q: What is the Volunteer of Excellence award that you received?
RV: This award is given to a scout leader for their dedication to Girl Scouts and for the time and effort
they commit to the girls. It was really a wonderful recognition.
Q: What does the leadership training mean to you?
RV: Girls can often be less self-assured than boys, even in Scouting, so teaching them how to have that
self-confidence can really make a difference in their later lives as young women. We teach them that
it’s okay to stand up and be themselves. It’s not a matter of being “loud and strong”, but rather to truly
believe in what you are doing.
Q: What has been the most significant accomplishment for you? How do you want to be remembered?
RV: I’d have to say that I didn’t let things stop me. I hope that the girls and young women that I have
had the pleasure of working with over the years feel the same way.
Our interviewer, John White, is a long time Hauppauge resident who recently retired from a rewarding career as a pharmacist, clinician, and pharmaceutical industry consultant. In addition to his work with the Hauppauge Public Library, John volunteers his time with St. Thomas More’s youth ministry and the Boy Scouts of America. In his spare time, John is an avid reader, an active runner, and loves to travel.
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