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Troop Leader Spotlight: Kristin Van Ark


Service Unit: Hayden’s Ferry

Troop 203 (Multilevel Daisies – Seniors)

Years as a troop leader: 9

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

Our troop has worked with several organizations that provide hygiene products and clothing to unhoused populations and has also put together backpacks for children in underserved communities. Other service projects include building a bench for Camp Willow Springs and planting trees, just to name a few. Our Juniors and Cadettes have earned their Bronze and Silver Awards through some of these projects!

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

During the pandemic, we were pushing through with virtual meetings, and we had a group of Juniors going to bridge who wanted to earn their Bronze Award. We knew it would be difficult, but we brainstormed and used our donated cookie packages to deliver care packages to all the departments at Banner University Medical Center. This hospital took a majority of the COVID patients in the state, and we wanted to recognize them for their efforts. We planned the entire project virtually and created 37 boxes of cookies and treats for every department. Girls came to my house to pack the boxes individually while social distancing, and we delivered them in the ER parking lot to the CEO and nursing staff.

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

We sell a lot of cookies! With almost 70 girls, we have been in the top 3 sellers for the past two years. While it's important because it funds programming for our girls, it also builds confidence and interpersonal skills as girls promote their products. This is often when girls come out of their shells and work together to meet or exceed a goal!

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

One of the most inspiring moments I’ve experienced as a troop leader is our bridging ceremonies! I love seeing how excited the girls get to advance to the next Girl Scout Level and feel inspired by their dedication and commitment to this troop and their Girl Scout Sisters.