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Troop Leader Spotlight: Michelle Do

Michelle do 1

Coyote Plains Service Unit

Troop 2265 (Cadette-Senior)

Years as a Troop Leader: 11

What inspired you to become a troop leader?

As a former teacher who enjoys impacting lives and making a difference, I came to a point where I needed to find a new avenue to direct my passions. I remembered as a girl how much Girl Scouting taught me. So, with my love of Girl Scouting and the outdoors, I decided to become the leader of my daughter's troop when the position became available.

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

My troop loves to camp, complete community service projects, run events for girls, and more. However, one of their favorite activities is a troop retreat where we go to a cabin and work on our leadership and outdoor skills. It’s a way for the girls to work together, step out of their comfort zone, and gain new experiences with the support of their Girl Scout Sisters.

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

We helped a small school that lost all the books in its library to vandalism. We rebuilt and restocked their shelves. The school was appreciative, and the kids just were shocked when they saw all the books that the communities around them had donated. It was a special moment for my troop and me.

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

My troop consists of older girls, so my favorite moments are when I can stand back and watch the girls take the skills they have fostered over the years and put them into action. For example, when they organize a girl-led event and see it to completion. They make me proud of all the time and effort they invest into each project.

What advice would you give other troop leaders?

Some advice I would give to other troop leaders would be to start with the badges that interest you and teach those first; your excitement and knowledge will help keep the girls engaged.  Also, take the time you need to find your groove. Every leader is different and has their strengths, use that to your advantage. Finally, don't be afraid to look to other leaders for guidance. It's all about creating the best opportunities for the girls.

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

I wish someone had told me that the girls’ parents and guardians can be a great resource. Don’t feel like you must tackle everything alone, you have people around you who may want to help. If you have a strong community around the girls, the troop will be strong.

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

There are various opportunities to volunteer within our Council! You do not have to be a troop leader to make an impact in our community or the girls’ lives. You can volunteer during our annual cookie program and host a cookie cupboard, help girls explore nature during summer camp, and offer assistance to your Service Unit. It truly is worth it to get started.

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, my troop sells cookies and by doing so they are able to learn so many lessons during the program. It's more than selling cookies, it is about giving girls opportunities for growth in different areas like communication, business management, and handling inventory, all of which could prove useful as they grow into adulthood.

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

Some of our tips would to be yourself and thank everyone for listening to you, even if they don't buy cookies. They gave you an opportunity to practice your pitch and most times they will realize that you are working hard at selling for your goal and are willing to help in any form they can. Remember that the girls’ experience is the priority.

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

I worked hard to set up a CPR class for my older girls. The girls attended and succeeded in earning their certification. Less than 24 hours after the class, one of my girls had to administer CPR to one of her family members until paramedics arrived. She was honored for her bravery and courage by Girl Scouts with the Metal of Honor.