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Troop Leader Spotlight: Jannis Mossman

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Oasis Service Unit 

Troop 308 (Multi-Level Troop) 

Years as a Troop Leader: 20 

What inspired you to become a troop leader? 

A Girl Scout myself, I really enjoyed my experience and wanted my daughter to have the opportunity to create her own Girl Scout memories. One day my daughter brought home a call for volunteer flyer from school and I didn’t think twice about joining. I filled out the form to get started as a volunteer and the rest has been history! 

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

My troop enjoys various activities! We especially like participating in community service projects, product programs (like selling Fall Product), and doing crafts! We have also enjoyed presenting girl programs within our neighborhood, camping, and traveling.

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

We have volunteered at Feed My Starving Children events and at Sleep in Heavenly Peace, an organization that build beds for kids who are in need of one. We also participate in a neighborhood project called “Books Bears and Blankets” that the girls enjoy.

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

There are multiple moments for me. I enjoy the "ah-ha" moments with the girls. For example, the first time they see snow, when a concept clicks, the sense of pride when they cook or clean for themselves, or when they conquer a problem. 

I also treasure random, unexpected hugs and knowing that the girl that drives you nuts is the one that needs you the most. Additionally, a volunteer moment that stands out has been sitting on the Board of Directors and getting to be a part of the historic decision to rebuild Camp Sombrero into the wonder that is now known as the Parsons Leadership Center.

What advice would you give other troop leaders?

The advice I’d give to another troop leader is “you do you”. Be a little selfish when setting meeting times and activities. If it doesn't work for you, you are more likely to experience burn out and leave. Have thick skin and don't take issues personally. Remember your why - the girls, they make everything else the little stuff great and worth it, so don't sweat it.

What do you wish someone had told you as a new troop leader?

Gosh, that was a long time ago! I wish someone had told me that there would be ups and downs, but to stay on the high road. I have, and it has served me well! Also, to participate in product sales fully to be able to do more without stressing out parents.

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

You only get so much time with your children and volunteering with her troop is an amazing way to spend time with her as well as the unknown impact you will have on other girls along the way.

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

Yes! Girls gain so much from the Girl Scout Cookie Program. I have seen a girl who started off hiding behind the cookie packages because she was afraid of taking to others move into performance arts. I have had a girl who attended speech therapy stop going during the program because her parents thought she got more speech practice selling cookies. 

The cookie program has funded many wonderful activities and trips that we would have not been able to participate in otherwise! The understanding of profit and expenses, budgeting, customer service, and goal setting are invaluable tools for the girls that they will use throughout their lives.

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

We start the cookie season with a troop meeting where we make signs for our booths and do a troop walkabout. This gives the girls the confidence to do walkabouts (door-to-door sales) on their own, in their own neighborhoods.

What is the most inspiring moment you have experienced as a troop leader? 

It has been so inspiring to see my troop become independent and grow into capable and courage young women. For example, watching the girls deliver program to younger girls, and allowing them to run the program, and them adjusting things along the way as they see fit. These are priceless experiences and memories that we have had together as Girl Scouts.