Service Unit: Sunny Peaks
Troop 6520, Daisies and Brownies
Years as GS: 6
Years as Troop Leader: 2
Tell us why you invest the time and effort in being a Troop Leader?
I’ve seen firsthand the benefits that occur when girls and women are given the tools to be leaders in their communities. I wanted those experiences for my daughter and her peers. I also love that the organization supports all women and girls in their leadership journey no matter the makeup of their identity.
What is the most inspiring moment you have experienced as a Troop Leader?
The willingness of the women and men that step in and support our girls always takes my breath away. Last year one of the members of my troop went to a Learn to Ride event at Camp Maripai. She was so excited, but once she got close to the horses she became terrified because they were so tall. She was telling us she didn’t want to do it anymore, but another leader was able to step in and help her get over her terror and into the saddle. The next time we did horseback riding as a troop she made sure every one of her friends was as excited and comfortable with horseback riding as she was. Without the help of the leader, who was willing to step in and care about a girl she knew nothing about, that girl would have missed out on an opportunity to learn about and develop courage.
Thinking about your outdoor adventures in Girl Scouts, what is your favorite outdoor experience as a Troop Leader and why?
I recently had Smokey Bear at my house to teach the troop about fire safety, knives, and knots. It was so fun to see the girls surprised expressions when he came sauntering up. The confidence that the girls gained by being able to use a knife, light matches, and put out a fire correctly was priceless.
What has been your proudest moment as a Troop Leader?
This year I asked the Brownies in my troop to each lead a meeting. One girl is very outgoing, and one is fairly shy. Both girls picked the badges they wanted to focus on and did a fantastic job taking their fellow Girl Scouts through the badge steps and requirements in their own ways. The confidence that they both gained through the process and the smiles on their faces after they finished up their meetings made my heart burst with pride for them.
How do you balance the demands of being a Troop Leader?
I have some of the best co-leaders and parents in the world. They are always willing to lend their time and expertise to the troop. We communicate almost daily using Slack and have a central repository for all our information.
What goals and projects are you currently working on?
My co-leaders and I are currently planning our end of the year Outdoor Journey weekend camping trip, as well as plans for keeping the members of our troop engaged over the summer. So far, we have considered weekly drop-in hikes, a camping trip/service project, and a reading challenge.
What advice would you give other Troop Leaders?
It’s ok to let people fail. If they aren’t falling they aren’t learning. It’s all about facing challenges and having support to overcome them.
What do you wish someone had told you as a new Troop Leader?
You’re going to gain just as much as the girls through your relationships with them, their parents, and your co-leaders. Pay attention to that, because it’s important.
If you were a Girl Scout Cookie, what would it be and why?
Savanah Smiles - I’m bright, light, and go well with cheesecake or tea. Also, I'm hoping to retire someday...lol!