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Troop Leader Spotlight: Amy Wazny

Meadowlark Service Unit

Troops 400 & 2751, Juniors and Cadettes

Years with GS: 6
Years as Leader: 6

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

There is no better feeling in the world than seeing girls succeed. It has been so rewarding watching my older troop grow from wild kindergarteners to a girl-led troop with their own government and agenda. The individual growth in each girl is special but seeing what they can do as a group is just tremendous. Personally, my daughters enjoy having a group of girls to hang out with where they know they’ll always be treated as a sister.

Thinking about your outdoor adventures in Girl Scouts, what is your favorite outdoor experience as a Troop Leader and why?

My girls saved up cookie money all through elementary school to go to surf camp the summer after fourth grade. The girls had an absolute blast, but my favorite troop camp had to be the Junior Experience weekend at Willow Springs last winter. The girls loved the camp, and I loved watching how well they worked as a team.

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

I attended the Annual Meeting last year and seeing the girls involved in the planning and execution of such a wonderful, professional event made me truly believe girls can do anything.

What has been your proudest moment as a Troop Leader?

This year our troop set a goal to donate 100 boxes of cookies to veterans. The girls advertised at their booths, made the donation goal and researched organizations. They chose the Amethyst Clinic at the VA to support women vets and wrote personal messages of thanks and encouragement that wrapped the boxes. During spring break a few girls from the troop delivered and donated the boxes. While meeting with the Women Veterans program coordinator, the girls started to ask about other ways they could be involved and received ideas for potential Silver Award projects!

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

I have a very understanding family - especially during cookie season! Honestly, I don’t know how I would be as involved with multiple troops if I also worked a full-time job. This year my third daughter was fortunate to join a Daisy troop run by two fantastic new leaders. My middle daughter’s troop has two co-leaders, one of which plans the field trips. The most important part is my oldest troop is laying the groundwork for self-sufficiency. The girls have spent this year figuring out roles in the troop so that next year they can take over more of the meetings and planning our outings.

What goals and projects are you currently working on?

My Cadettes are working towards long-term travel goals, getting ideas for their Silver Award project and looking forward to summer camp. Our Junior troop is also doing their fair share of summer camp this year and will be exploring Bronze Award ideas for the fall. They are working on camping progression so that they can do a troop camp without their families.

What advice would you give other Troop Leaders?

Don’t be hard on yourself. There will be times when a meeting flops, or the girls cannot focus, but it’s not the end of the world! There’s always another meeting. Also, get things on a calendar as early as you can. Girls and parents are busy, and the sooner you get info out the better!

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

Go to the monthly neighborhood leader meetings! It’s a great network of leaders with a wealth of knowledge who always willing to help. Delegate work to parents from the outset. Even if you don’t know what you should be telling them to do. Enlist a cookie parent! Finally, when it comes to badge work, start small! There’s not badge police judging how many patches make it on the vest the first year.

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

Trefoil. A little plain, but always dependable, won’t melt in the sun and goes with everything!