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Troop Leader Spotlight: Hilary Parker

Service Unit: Prescott

Troop 449, Cadettes

Years as a GS: 9
Years as Troop Leader: 9

What inspired you to become a Troop Leader?

My daughter wanted to be a Girl Scout when she was in Kindergarten, but there wasn't a Daisy troop in the town we lived in, so I agreed to form one as a leader. She is in 8th grade now and says she is going to continue through high school!

What kind of activities do you do with your troop? What is their favorite thing to do?

We try to do activities that interest the girls. The girls love camping, so we go a few times a year. We try to go to different campgrounds each time. The girls had a blast at Jamboree 2018, where they got a taste of scuba diving and want to do it again!

What kind of service projects have you done with your troop?

The girls have done a variety of service projects over the years. They’ve cleaned a park after a soccer tournament, planted a tree in the park, made blankets for the local women's shelter as well as welcome bags for the kids. Their favorite was making dog toys for the local animal shelter, so the animals could have a toy to take with them.

Tell us about a volunteer moment that stands out for you.

I enjoy watching the girls grow and become caring capable young ladies, and I love seeing how supportive they are of one another.

What advice would you give other Troop Leaders?

I have great co-leaders, and we share all that needs to be done. Don't try to do everything yourself! Parents and other Troop Leaders are great resources for help or ideas.

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

Your troop is not going to be perfect. Don't be too hard on yourself, the goal is for the girls to have fun, try something new or learn something new.

What would you like others to know about volunteer opportunities with the Girl Scouts?

I became a leader for my daughter but had no idea how much I would get out of it for myself. I have made many new friends, tried many new things and have many girls that I now consider family.

Does your troop sell cookies? If yes, tell us in your own words why it is important to participate in the cookie program?

My troop has always sold cookies. They sell enough to pay for all badges, uniforms, and activities. They are proud that they support their troop through cookie sales! They run the booths themselves, including setting up, talking to customers, calculating the price, making change and keeping track of the inventory.

What are your troops’ cookie-selling tips and tricks?

Be visible, talk to the customers, be polite even if they don't buy anything. We have had people come back after saying no, because the girls said, "Thank you anyway, have a nice day!"

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

Three of the girls completed their Silver Award last summer. I'm proud of them for sticking to it and putting in the time. They are now encouraging others in the troop to start their project and offering support – like true Girl Scouts!