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Troop Leader Spotlight: Mary Patterson

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South Phoenix Service Unit

Troop 436, Multi-Level

Years as a Troop Leader: 10

What inspired you to become a Troop Leader?

My inspiration came from another Troop Leader. I was inspired by Deanna Castle and seeing the joy of leading a troop. 

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

My troop has participated in a variety of activities. Some of their favorite include horseback riding, fishing, caroling during the Christmas holiday and tent camping. 

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

Our troop really enjoys giving back. Some of the service projects we have done include feeding the homeless, volunteering with senior citizens at Tanner Gardens during the Christmas and Thanksgiving holidays, and participating in different clothing and shoe drives. 

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

A moment that stands out to me is when my troop participated in the grand opening of Parsons Leadership Center’s ribbon cutting and giving gifts to major donors Bob and Rene Parsons. It was so memorable and a great experience! 

What advice would you give other Troop Leaders?

Have patience with your troop, parents and leaders. 

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

To try your best to work and collaborate with parents, each relationship can require different needs. 

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

When you become a volunteer, you get a new sense of joy. Watching girls blossom into young ladies, seeing them learn skills and make lasting friends is rewarding. 

Does your troop sell cookies? If yes, please tell us in your own words, why it is important to participate in the GS Cookie Program? 

Yes, it is important to participate for so many reasons. The programs supports everyone involved with Girl Scouts, for example, at a Council level it helps cover program and registration fees like camp scholarships or financial assistance. Girl Scouts troops also raise money for their troops to buy program materials, badges & patches, fuel their way to camp, and for troop expenses throughout the year. Plus, we often use our cookie funds to give back to the community.

What are your troop's cookie selling tips and tricks? 

At the beginning of our troop year, even before cookie season start, I have my troops set a goal by picking an event or place they would like to travel. We set this as our goal and then strategize how we can reach it. During the program, one of our strategies is selling in high traffic areas. 

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

There are many inspiring moments, but one of them must be the fact that eight of my girls have become Gold Award Girl Scouts. I also had 10 girls sell cookies for three cookie seasons to save up enough to travel to Europe -all-paid, plus spending money - through the Girl Scout Cookie Program! 

It is also inspiring to see qualities in girls grow or build. I had a Girl Scout that started as a shy Brownie. She was so quiet and timid even as she became a Cadette. Then, one trip to San Diego, the girls did a skit and it completely showed her confidence! It was an opportunity for her to come out of her shell and she did so, so much that her mom teared up and called her grandmother! Girl Scouts is really a place for girls to build those skills and unleash their potential.