DENVER – The beginning of school also marks the recruitment season for Girl Scouts. As the organization welcomes interested girls, it is also looking for adults who might be interested in leading a troop.
Girl Scout rallies will be held in schools during the first week of September to drum up excitement, and “Express Nights” will be held Sept. 10 and 12 to give parents the opportunity to sign their daughters up for a troop.
What happens at the rallies is that the girls get excited but are put on waiting lists because there aren’t enough troop leaders, Troop Leader Lisa File explained.
“You have girls who are so excited, then they get disappointed,” she said. “They go on a list, and that tears me up because I want them to go right into a troop.”
A waiting list can have more than 100 girls, but last year, everyone on the list was eventually placed into a troop, File said.
Troop sizes can be as small or as large as the leader’s preference, but they are generally between six and 18 girls. It’s up to the leader on the time and place to hold meetings and how active the troop is. There are also many opportunities held by the Peaks 2 Piedmont Council or the service unit, which troops can participate in.
Girls Scouts is divided into four age categories: Daisies (kindergarten and first grade), Brownies (second and third grades), Juniors (fourth and fifth grades) and Cadets (six through eighth grades).
Typically, Daisies and Brownies are most in need of leaders, File said.
“That’s such a fun age to get in there with them because you can do so much,” she said.
This will be File’s fifth year as a troop leader. When her oldest daughter, Allison, joined as a Brownie, File worked closely as a volunteer for her troop. By the time her second daughter, Madison, joined as a Daisy, File was prepared to lead a troop.
Seeing girls develop quality character traits and self-confidence is the biggest reward of being a leader, File explained. And the opportunity to be involved in her daughters’ lives while they’re growing up is priceless.
“The love and joy that I get out of it is just unbelievable,” she said. “Even for those who don’t have children, it’s a phenomenal experience.”
Allison is 12 and will be going into seventh grade. Now a Cadet, she’s already decided to earn her Gold Award, the equivalent to the Eagle Award in Boy Scouts.
“(Girl Scouts) really teaches you how to be a great person and how to love people,” she said. “You have a bond with the other girls in your troop that will be there for the rest of your life.”
Allison described a good troop leader as one who is kind, caring and strong.
“It makes a big impact on all the girls,” she said. “You can see from when they’re little to when they grow up, they become great people.”
Want to sign up for Girl Scouts?
There will be two Express Nights for parents to sign their girls up to join a troop. They are as follows:
• 6:30-7:30 p.m., Sept. 10 at Unity Presbyterian Church in Denver, 8210 Unity Church Road
• 6:30-7:30 p.m., Sept. 10 at Emmanuel Lutheran Church in Lincolnton, 216 S Aspen St
• 6:30-7:30 p.m., Sept. 12 at Denver United Methodist Church, 3910 N.C. 16
• 6:30-7:30 p.m., Sept. 12 at First United Methodist Church in Lincolnton, 201 E Main St. (will meet in the back of the building)
Interested in leading a troop?
Email Membership Manager Roxanne Heverly at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.girlscoutsp2p.org.