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Troop Leader Spotlight: Erin Long


Service Unit: Cactus Bloom

Troop 2050 (Multilevel Cadettes – Ambassadors)

Years as a troop leader: 11

What inspired you to become a troop leader?

My Girl Scout experience and working at Camp Willow Springs when I was in college inspired me to become a troop leader. As a lifelong Girl Scout, I try to live by the Girl Scout Mission daily - striving to make the world a better place. After having a daughter, I knew I would be getting back into Girl Scouts again. 

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

Our troop is full of compassionate and caring girls who are always motivated to find people and animals in our community who need support. We have donated funds from cookie sales to shelters and organizations that provide relief to children in Ukraine. We have also made homemade dog toys for the Arizona Humane Society, blankets for veterans, and Christmas cards to gift to residents of a local care facility.

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

It is hard to pick a specific volunteer moment out of so many! I loved working with girls as a camp counselor because I made many lifelong friends, one of whom I visited when I was on vacation in Alaska! Something else I’ve enjoyed is teaching high-adventure camp activities. I have been certified to teach archery since 2015 and loved teaching high ropes when I worked at Camp Willow Springs. I believe this is directly linked to the joy of seeing girls push themselves to do something that they never thought they could. Their first time hitting a bullseye or daring to step off the zip-line platform is a monumental accomplishment in their strength and growth. One of my current Girl Scouts has very low vision and still has the confidence to push herself at camp to mountain bike and do the zipline, and I’ve loved seeing her independence grow over the years. As a leader, I love seeing my girls take on new challenges with grace and perseverance. It might not always be easy for them, but they amaze me with their ideas and plans for the future.

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

Our troop sells cookies because it’s our primary method of raising funds. My girls have used the funds to go horseback riding, for camp, and now are looking into planning larger out of state trips. I know I have seen my own daughter go from someone who doesn't particularly talk to strangers well, to being able to manage a cookie booth completely on her own. She is confident in making a sale, talking to customers, and setting goals for herself and her troop.

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

Watching my girls grow has been one of the most inspiring things. I have known many of my girls since they were in Kindergarten and seeing them grow into strong confident young women is inspiring. I love seeing my older girls take on new challenges as they take training to lead girls in campfire safety and work with younger girls to gain confidence. My girls inspire me, and I know they will lead the world to a better tomorrow.