Service Unit: Juniper Ridge
Troop 510, Brownies, Juniors, Cadettes and Ambassadors
Years as a GS: 11
Years as Troop Leader: 6
What inspired you to become a Troop Leader?
My daughter Elena is my inspiration for becoming a Troop Leader. When she started as a first-year Daisy, her Troop Leader at the time needed parent volunteers. I was always working and found that this was a great opportunity for mother-daughter bonding. So, the next year, I became a co-leader!
What kind of activities do you do with your troop? What is their favorite thing to do?
I have a multi-level troop, and each level is separated during meetings. We are constantly working on badge work and community activities. Some activities include our parade of lights, visiting the local fire station and police station, flag ceremonies, community kickball, and of course, neighborhood activities.
My troop's favorite activities are when we bring all the levels together. My Ambassadors and Cadettes like to plan a meeting for the Brownies and Juniors. It’s wonderful to watch the young ladies interact with the younger girls when they’re all together!
What kind of service projects have you done with your troop?
The girls love to be among the community doing service projects such as volunteering at the AZ Humane Society, where they spent their summer cleaning kennels, walking the dogs, giving them baths, and just showing the animals love. The Holbrook Festival of Trees is a favorite as well where the girls make ornaments and enter two trees in the festival each year. They also volunteer their time after school and work with the Holbrook Chamber of Commerce to help make the festival great! Our troop partnered with the Holbrook Methodist Church to provide a soup kitchen to our community. During the holidays, they work with the Catholic Charities wrapping Christmas Angel presents. The girls love giving back!
Tell us about a volunteer moment that stands out for you.
When the girls volunteered to run a soup kitchen once a month during our cold winter months. We started helping the Holbrook Methodist Church three years ago. In those years, I have seen these young ladies grow so much! They selected the dates and brainstormed the menus, took turns on cooking, decorating the tables, and interacting with the community. Each month they go above and beyond. The menu changes and now they recently added salads, sandwiches, and desserts with their soup. The best part is that this is a Girl Lead project! The rest of the month, the church and its members run the soup kitchen - but this one day a month, it’s all Holbrook Troop 510. This is one service they look forward to all year!
What advice would you give other Troop Leaders?
There are so many things going through my brain right now. The best advice is to be yourself! I am myself every day. If they see me at school, at work, at a meeting, or just in the community, they know that I will treat them the same. They will always get my cheerfulness and my love!
I tell my girls, "Be yourself and love yourself! You have to take care of yourself because you are number one. If you can't take care of yourself, you can't take care of others. Not one person is the same. Every person has their own look and personality. You are one of a kind, you are unique, so love who you are!"
So, I say to my fellow Troop Leaders, be yourself and love who you are!
What do you wish someone had told you as a new Troop Leader?
I wish someone told me that once you start as a Troop Leader, you are hooked. I didn't realize how much time and effort I would put in, I volunteer all my time to my girls. I have grown from a co-leader to Troop Leader, Service Team member, and Zipline/Rockwall Instructor. Watching these girls turn into young ladies and role models is definitely worth it. I would become a leader all over again!
What would you like others to know about volunteer opportunities with the Girl Scouts?
It only takes one person to change the world! Positive vibes and good deeds have a ripple effect on the world. Volunteering with Girl Scouts, you have an opportunity to have that positive ripple effect on young girls and young ladies. We are always looking for new volunteers and leaders. It's an amazing feeling to brighten a girl’s life!
Does your troop sell cookies? If yes, tell us in your own words why it is important to participate in the cookie program?
Yes! So many young adults don't know how to take care of their finances when they leave home. The cookie program develops the skills that are needed in everyday life. Girls learn how to manage money. They learn how to count money back to a customer and how to interact with customers. We don't just sell cookies, we prepare young adults to take on the world!
What are your troops’ cookie-selling tips and tricks?
We live in a small community, so knowing your customers is key! Throughout the years, we’ve built loyal customers. The biggest tip is to sell cookies with a smile and have fun. When you’re happy and having a good time, your customers will be too!
What is the most inspiring moment you have experienced as a Troop Leader?
The majority of my Cadettes have been with me since I joined the troop 6 years ago, and I can remember when they were shy and didn't like talking to people, they didn't know. We started off by getting to know each other and always having fun. Goal setting during fall product and cookie season. Learning to interact with each other and others. Now, looking back at who these young ladies were and how they’ve grown is amazing. The majority of my Cadettes are my top sellers during the cookie season! You would never have known they were once shy. They welcome any new girl with open arms and a friendly smile. They plan their meetings, set their goals, and they look out for each other. Most of all, they are role models for our younger girls. My most inspiring moment is being a role model to these awesome ladies and I will continue to provide the guidance they need to change the world!