Tell us a little about yourself.
Liz: I am co-leader of Ketchikan-based Daisy Troop 20107 with my
friend Amy. I grew up in Brooklyn, New York and I was in a Brownie
troop for a few months there before it fell apart. I remember meeting
in the school cafeteria and making pinhole cameras, but when we took
them to the park we couldn’t make them work. (That may have been the
beginning of the end for the troop!) That was a good lesson for me:
when I decided to become a scout leader, I was committed above all to
keeping the troop going, even if I felt discouraged at times.
Amy: The Coast Guard brought my family to Ketchikan in 2018. I
instantly fell in love with the peaceful beauty of this island and
with the people who live here. I work as a nurse in the ICU here and
I’m a mom to two girls, the oldest of whom is one of our Daisies. I
have never been a Girl Scout. In fact, I gained most of my knowledge
of Girl Scouts from the website while I was online searching for a
troop for my daughter.
Why do you volunteer with Girl Scouts?
Liz: Actually this is the definition of girl-led: my daughter made
me do it. There are several troops in Ketchikan but there wasn’t one
that was exclusively Daisies and that met near her school. I wanted my
kindergartener to have a chance to be a Girl Scout but becoming a
leader seemed like a daunting task, especially because I had a new
baby. When Alyson Cooper visited us here in Ketchikan, though, she was
so helpful and so excited to have a new troop starting up that I
decided to take the plunge. Getting Amy onboard sealed the deal,
because I knew I would feel more confident with a good partner.
Amy: I love the concept of these brave little leaders coming
together to make the world a better place! My own personal leadership
experience has been limited and I want more than that for my
daughters. I want to model what a good leader is for her while also
allowing her to play a big role in this as well. Plus, it’s super fun!
What is your favorite thing about volunteering with Girl Scouts?
Liz: I love watching the girls get to know each other. We’ve only
been meeting for a few months, but already I see lovely little
friendships forming. My daughter likes to write the names of all the
girls in the troop and draw pictures of them; I find slips of paper
all over the house, usually in the days right after each meeting. I
went to a women’s college, so I also find a lot of joy in watching
them get to be a part of an all-girl space. That feels special to me,
and I hope they sense it too.
Amy: Several weeks after starting our troop and still unsure of how
things were going, I ran into one of our Daisies while out and about.
She immediately got a huge smile on her face and screamed, “I can’t
wait until the next Girl Scout meeting!” That has to be my favorite
thing so far.
What are the girls in your troop most enthusiastic about in Girl Scouting?
Liz: I notice that they like to share their knowledge. When we ask
them about a topic, or brainstorm ideas for upcoming meetings, they
all have so much to say. The benefit of a troop of eleven is that
there’s more opportunity for them to be vocal about their ideas than
there might be in school, where their classes are bigger than that.
They all love to do crafts, but they’ve got big plans for the spring
when we’ll be doing more beachcombing, hiking, and exploring. (Full
disclosure: they also love the snacks.)
Amy: It seems to vary from girl to girl. For some it’s the cookie
sales, for others the crafts and activities or earning those petals at
the end of the day! Most of all it seems to be the camaraderie. They
all seem to look forward to that every other Monday meeting when we
come together to be Girl Scouts.
What have you gained as a troop leader?
Liz: I’m realizing that I can extend the concept of “girl-led” into
the rest of my life. Where are the places where I try to control what
happens and how it turns out, and can I focus on letting others play
their part? I have a lot of leadership experience but the Girl Scouts
philosophy is a great reminder that a big part of leading can actually
be stepping back and letting others take over.
Amy: I must agree with Liz on this. While our young girls still need
much guidance, each time we meet it becomes a little easier to take
that step back and make this the girl-led troop we set out for it to
be. I even notice positive changes at home in my parenting because of this.
Anything else you’d like us to know?
Liz: The cookie program has been such a terrific experience. Booth
sales especially exceeded our expectations, and I really got to watch
the girls’ different strengths shine through. Plus we had customers
come up to the girls and thank them for being Scouts. It was so cool!
Amy: I am so grateful to my friend Liz for initially getting this
troop going, for providing the girls with this opportunity and for
giving me the chance to be co-leader. It has been life changing!