Years as a Troop Leader: 6
What inspired you to become a Troop Leader?
The previous leader was stepping down, and someone needed to take over the troop; otherwise, it would have disbanded. I felt like it would be an excellent opportunity for me, and I haven’t looked back since. It's been a great experience.
What kind of activities do you do with your troop? What is their favorite thing to do?
Our troop does all kinds of things! We try to do as many hands-on activities as possible. We try to get outside a lot; the girls and their families all like to hike and be outdoors. A memorable troop activity was going scorpion hunting with a park ranger on the White Tank Mountains. It was really neat, and the girls loved it! We also enjoy participating in STEM activities, have recently tried computer coding, and enjoy arts and crafts, especially painting.
What kind of service projects have you done with your troop?
We enjoy spending our time giving back to the community. We have volunteered at a food pantry, collected all sorts of donations for different organizations. We visited a senior living facility most recently (before the pandemic) and made Christmas ornaments with the residents.
Tell us about a volunteer moment that stands out to you.
It’s the little things for me. I appreciate EVERY time one of the girls run to me, calling my name (Miss Kristine!), arms wide open, to hug me whenever we see each other. It never gets old and makes me feel loved.
What advice would you give other Troop Leaders?
Do what works for you! I make adjustments all of the time to suit the needs of our troop. Also, delegate tasks, assign roles and ask for help whenever possible.
What do you wish someone had told you as a new Troop Leader?
I wish someone could remind me at times to go at my own pace. Don’t try to do it all. It’s okay if you don’t finish every single badge and if your girls would rather paint than learn STEM (or vice versa). Don’t compare your troop to other troops or what they are doing. We are all unique and have different passions, and different is good.
What would you like others to know about volunteer opportunities with the Girl Scouts?
There is never NOT a need for more leaders! And also, it’s not as hard or time-consuming as you might think. You got this, and it’s always a great time to join or become a leader.
Why is it important to participate in the GS Cookie Program?
The cookie program is multi-faceted. There is the obvious fundraising benefit (we all want more money in the troop account!), but girls get a lot from it. The program itself teaches girls skills like goal setting and how to exchange money, but I have also seen the quietest, reserved girls emerge from their shells to tell a customer which flavor is “best.” They grow in confidence and become independent.
What are your troop's cookie-selling tips and tricks?
Do not underestimate the power of selling in your own neighborhood! Door to door is underrated, and it’s a classic selling strategy.
What is the most inspiring moment you have experienced as a Troop Leader?
With the pandemic, many troops had to switch over to virtual meetings. Although girls are learning on a computer all day for school, they’re still excited to show up online for our meetings! I keep expecting them to say they’ve had enough, but it’s been nearly a year, and they’re still smiling! We have learned to adapt and make sure our troop stays connected and engaged without Girl Scout goals and community.