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Troop Leader Spotlight: Jennifer Haberlin

Jennifer with her daughter at Daisy Day Camp at Camp Maripai

Jennifer Haberlin

Service Unit: Palo Verde

Troop 4320

Level: Daisy

Years as a Girl Scout: Six years total, including four as a child

Years as a leader: Finishing second year

Tell us why you invest the time and effort in being a Troop Leader?
I had the best Girl Scout leader when I was younger; I have so many great memories. I couldn’t wait for my daughters to be old enough to be Girl Scouts. When I told my oldest daughter (now a second-year Daisy) about Girl Scouts, she was so excited. Every night for the rest of that summer before kindergarten, she would say “I can’t wait to be a Girl Scout.” After our first meeting, my daughter was so excited. At dinner that night, she said “I am so grateful to be a Girl Scout.” Although I never imagined myself being a Girl Scout leader, I can’t imagine it any other way. I look forward to our meetings just as much as my daughter does.

Do you have a camp name? What is it and the story behind it?
No, not yet. I look forward to going camping with my troop in the future.

Favorite GS program and why?
Selling cookies…It’s more than just about the sales. There’s so much to gain and learn from selling cookies even as a Daisy. I watched my troop set goals, learn their product, and run their business. I watched as they gained confidence and learned valuable money-handling skills like counting change.

If you were a Girl Scout Cookie, what would it be and why?
I would be a Girl Scout S’more because I love camping and the outdoors.

What was the most inspiring moment you’ve experienced?
I am always inspired by watching my troop learn the Girl Scout Law and put it into practice. We recently shopped for hospitalized children and I was amazed by how selfless these girls are. In fact, one of the girls in my troop has a birthday coming up, and she announced that she would be donating her birthday gifts to the toy closet as well. Another inspiring moment was when my troop recently drew pictures showing what Girl Scouts means to them, and the pictures included words like caring, helpful, and friends. These girls are going to make a huge impact on the world. My favorite Girl Scout shirt is “One girl can make a difference.” My daughter read it, and said it should say “one girl can make a BIG difference.” Yes, yes they can.

What has been your proudest moment?
My proudest moments have been watching my daughter achieve her cookie goal both last year and this year. Last year, she set her mind on Sunsplash; this year, she just really wanted to sell 1,000 boxes of cookies. There were times she wanted to give up, but she just kept going. Another proud moment was when my troop voted on a fall/winter service project. This year they voted to help animals. My daughter was disappointed that Christmas angel shopping didn’t win. She donated some of her own money and shopped for a Christmas angel herself.

How do you balance the demands of being a Troop Leader?
It’s a constant challenge, but I enjoy everything about being a Girl Scout leader. I believe in the program, so I make it a huge priority.

What goals and projects are you currently working on?
We just completed our service project with our cookie money. We shopped for toys to fill the toy closet at a local hospital and made activity boxes for hospitalized children.

What advice would you give other Troop Leaders?
Have fun!! Go with the flow. Some meetings and activities will go as planned, and others not so much. With 15 energetic first graders, I embrace the craziness and focus on helping them learn something while having fun.