Cactus Patch Service Unit
Troop 761, Cadettes
Years as a Troop Leader: 9
What inspired you to become a Troop Leader?
I first became a parent volunteer when my daughter, Em, was a Girl Scout Daisy. In one meeting, our wonderful Troop Leader, Jennifer, asked me if I could take on the Girl Scout Brownie level in our troop since their level leader could not continue. That’s when I stepped in, and since the start, both Jenn and Em continue to inspire me to be the best leader I can be.
What kind of activities do you do with your troop? What is their favorite thing to do?
Our troop enjoys working on Girl Scout Badges, Journeys, and completing service projects. We also enjoy art-inspired activities as well. We have made our own t-shirts to wear during the Girl Scout Cookie Program, and created kindness rocks and positivity chalkboards. One of my troop’s favorite thing to do is Journey in a Day programming. I also enjoy getting outdoors and teaching archery to all our fellow Girl Scouts.
What kind of service projects have you done with your troop?
We’ve completed a few service projects! Over the years 2014-15, my Girl Scout Brownies collected pencils and donated them to schools in Avondale and Goodyear. In 2017, my Juniors made blankets and hosted a kitten adoption event. Then in 2018, my Juniors created positivity stones for our local church to use for parishioners who needed a bit of sunshine.
In 2019, my daughter also continued the pencil donation and collected over 20,000 pencils. She donated them to schools in Arizona, Texas, and New York! She was even featured on the news!
This year we’re working on two projects. One is supporting a free library in the City of Goodyear, and the other is making pet blankets and beds for a no-kill animal shelter. There are always ways to give back, and we enjoy doing so! <3
Tell us about a volunteer moment that stands out to you.
I have volunteered for a lot of Council events, from girl events to product delivery events. I have also hosted several events like “Badge in a Day, Journey in a Day,” to mother/daughter tea parties. But, of all these events, what stands out most to me, is the extraordinary support from our Service Unit (a.k.a., designated neighborhood group). We may be small, but we all pitch in to help each other out. No woman or volunteer stands alone. We help, sometimes even without asking, and simply show up! It is truly what our Girl Scout Sisterhood is about - supporting our Sistas!
Overall it is just great to be a part of this sisterhood, movement, and community. When you volunteer, not only do the girls create friendships and a support team, but we adult volunteers do too.
What advice would you give other Troop Leaders?
Don’t be idle, and don’t wait for some to ask you to join them. Step up! There are so many ways you can help your troop, your neighborhood, and all Girl Scouts! You can share your passions and be an active, positive influence in the lives of so many girls, women, and other adult volunteers!
What do you wish someone had told you as a new Troop Leader?
It’s ok to step back and take a breath. Don’t strive for perfection.
What would you like others to know about volunteer opportunities with the Girl Scouts?
No role is small. Everything you do counts and makes a difference. Becoming a volunteer gives you the opportunity to get to know your Girl Scouts on a deep level. You’ll be the person they come to when they need that boost to keep on moving forward or need advice. So, it’s enriching to be that for girls.
It also is a great time to solidify your bond with your daughter... this journey is twice as rewarding when you share it with your daughter.
Does your troop sell cookies?
Yes, every year. The Fall Product and Girl Scout Cookie program is such a rewarding program. It teaches girls business and life skills like inventory management and reconciliation, forecasting sales, reconciliation of funds, and accounting skills. All these skills girls will get to apply later in their personal and professional lives.
What are your troop's cookie-selling tips and tricks?
A tip from our troop would be to create your own cookie booth table cloth. We like to decorate our booth in a way that shows who we are as salespeople and apply that as our marketing strategy. That unique look can entice prospective buyers and open a line of communication even for the shyest of young Girl Scouts.
What is the most inspiring moment you have experienced as a Troop Leader?
My Girl Scouts always inspire me. They are independent thinkers always striving to help others. They always want to donate their hard-earned cookie proceeds to local womens’ shelters and no-kill animal shelters and volunteer their time at local food banks. They inspire me to be a better, kinder, more generous person and leader.