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Troop Leader Spotlight: Tammie Bohnker

Lake Havasu City Service Unit
Troop 1585 – Seniors and Ambassadors 

Years with GS: 13
Years as a Leader: 11

Tell us why you invest the time and effort in being a Troop Leader?

The opportunities that Girl Scouts has given my girls and girls across the country are amazing. To see a girl strike a match for the first time, clean up our Lake's beach, or to lend a supporting ear or hand to others shows me that the connection the girl made in Girl Scouts has a ripple effect. This has given me the opportunity to not only get closer to my troop but also to girls in my community and build long-lasting friendships and enhance community awareness. 

Do you have a camp name? What is the story behind it?

Yes. In a different organization I was presented with a Tigger stuffed animal and Tigger watch. When I started outdoor education, I tended to bounce from one thing to another and the name Tigger seemed to match my style and personality. So, the bouncing "Tigger" was created.

What is your favorite outdoor experience as a Troop Leader and why?

Last year I led TCC2 and Advanced Cooking classes at our area's Cattail Outing. The girls did other programming but observed the cooking we did. As we were sitting around our campsite that night one of the girls said she wanted to learn outdoor cooking. She wanted to make sure I was around when the Zombie Apocalypse happened so she could come with me. That way, we could survive for a long time.

What is the most inspiring moment you have experienced as a Troop Leader?

Recently we had a tragedy hit our town where a high school student was killed. The girls from my troop attended the candle vigil. They were giving whatever kind of support was needed to those who attended. Individually, they each reached out to others with a hug or smile. It wasn't just my troop - so many Girl Scouts from Lake Havasu did this. It was truly an inspiring moment to see them respond to the crisis and to be there, not only for their Girl Scout sisters, but for everyone in the community.

What has been your proudest moment as a Troop Leader?

When Becky, my oldest daughter, received her Gold Award and the rest of the troop received their Silver Awards. I now have two of my older girls working on their Gold Awards as well. 

How do you balance the demands of being a Troop Leader?

Starbucks! I have a Girl Scout bag, a work bag and a flag program bag, usually with me at most times. We have several planning meetings in person, on Google Hangouts and Facebook. The other part that helps is working with awesome volunteers - in my troop, in Havasu, and council-wide. Girl Scouting is a team effort.

What goals and projects are you currently working on?

I have two - hopefully three - girls working on the logistics of doing their Gold Award projects. We are also looking at what to do for our final Girl Scout trip. By 2022 all the girls in my troop will graduate from High School. It is totally cool to see them step up after high school and want to help out where they can. 

What advice would you give other Troop Leaders?

Girl Scouts is a journey for the leader and the girls. Embrace it, take it on and walk the path with the girls. You'll be amazed where it takes you. Yes, there are times of "oh I have a meeting tonight, what are we going to do?!," but even a little planning takes it a long way. Listen to the girls, they will tell you what they want to do. 

What do you wish someone had told you as a new Troop Leader?

Taking over a troop of 25 girls is doable. A group of girls and ladies working together can accomplish anything.

If you were a Girl Scout Cookie, what would it be and why?

I would be a Thin Mint. I might be small, and you cannot tell much about me but, when you take a bite I hit back with a taste you cannot resist. Just like a Thin Mint I am refreshing and sweet with attitude.