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Troop Leader Spotlight: Stephanie Long


South Phoenix Service Unit

Troop 436 (Daisy – Ambassador)

Years as a Troop Leader: 2



What inspired you to become a troop leader?

I became a troop leader because of my passion to help girls reach their full potential. Being a part of a community that fosters intelligence, leadership, friendship, and service is truly amazing and I want to make sure this troop thrives in the years to come.

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

My Girl Scouts love to sell cookies, go camping, and attend encampments. I help with cookie distribution, selecting cookie booths, and enrolling girls in Girl Scouts Summer Camp as well as encampments. One of my favorite activities was when another Girl Scout mom and I led a star walk for my troop.

Our star walks are walks at night to learn about astronomy. I had a blast sharing facts about the stars and planets as we walked the trail in the forest. Seeing the girls enjoy the different plants, flowers, and bugs in the forest was great. We looked at the stream and then even started a talk about the snowmelt which led to a discussion about environmental sustainability. It was such a great time out in nature and having great conversations about being good stewards of the planet.

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

Our troop works with a senior community and prior to COVID-19, we would perform Christmas carols and donate cleaning products to the residents. We also worked with this community in their garden by pulling weeds and planting seeds. Additionally, my troop donates cookies to the military every year.

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

One of the volunteer moments that I will always remember was when we partnered with an organization to feed the homeless. The girls met early on a Saturday and together we were able to feed around 75 people. The girls were so excited and helpful in making sure everyone received food and toiletries. It felt fulfilling to be able to make a positive impact and meet a great need in our community.

What advice would you give other troop leaders?

I think patience is a great tool to have when being a troop leader. Understanding that projects may not happen as you intended but that does not mean they were unsuccessful, is key. Not all parents and girls may show up for every activity and that is okay. Just make sure that those who did show up have a great time and get the job done. Try not to sweat the small stuff, be flexible, and do your best to reach the main goal.

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

I have been fortunate to have two other leaders that work alongside me. They have taught me about financial reports and how the Fall Product Program is organized. Every day I am learning how to be an effective leader and have seen that communication with the parents/guardians is critical. Sometimes a parent may need several phone calls about an upcoming meeting or activity and that is just what needs to be done. Don't stress out about it.

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

When it comes to volunteer opportunities with the Girl Scouts, the sky is the limit. There are various positions to choose from that all help us keep the movement going. Regardless of what position you are in, I can guarantee that you’ll feel great volunteering your time with Girl Scouts and also feed off the passion to provide girls the best Girl Scouting experience.

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! By participating in the Girl Scout Cookie Program, girls are given the opportunity to step outside of their comfort zone and gain important business skills that will prove essential in adulthood.  Plus, we use those sales to go to summer camp and different trips around the world. Overall, cookies give girls the opportunity to embark on new adventures!

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

My biggest cookie-selling tip is to have fun. If you make the experience too serious, girls can sometimes lose interest. The program is meant to encourage girls to grow both professionally and personally, so try to make each day full of good memories. Also, decorate your booth and use all platforms available to sell cookies.

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

My most inspiring moment was when my Girl Scouts and I visited Tucson to meet up with a fellow Girl Scout Sister that recently started attending the University of Arizona. My Senior Girl Scout was so excited to see the dorm and asked many questions about college classes, student life, and being away from home. That moment was great and really emphasized why it is so important for these girls to create friendships. We work so hard with our girls so they can reach their goals, and at that moment they saw that their goals really are attainable?