Troop leaders do so much more than we could ever give them credit for. Leading by example, they help girls to find their voice, pursue their goals, and be fearless in all that they do. This week, we have a heartwarming letter of appreciation from a River Valleys’ Girl Scout to her own fearless troop leader. Olivia is a past Gold Award Girl Scout, now studying genetics and French at the University of Minnesota—Twin Cities. Norma was her Gold Award advisor and has continued to be an important mentor in her life:
I met Norma Porter at the Girl Scouts River Valleys Annual Meeting when I was a freshman in high school in 2011. The procedures that went into running the meeting were completely going over my head, but Norma happened to be sitting next to me and helped me understand what was going on with things like bylaws and Robert’s Rules of Order. It also turned out that we were both national delegates who would be attending the National Convention in Houston later in the year.
We didn’t spend much time together in Houston, but I caught a ride home from the airport with Norma after we figured out that we live only a mile apart. Something just clicked during that ride, and Norma became my go-to for carpooling to Girl Scout events like Annual Meetings, Women of Distinction fundraisers, and committee meetings—to name a few.
During those rides, we talked about current events, our Girl Scouting experiences, and my ambitions for the future. These three topics combined into discussions about potential Gold Award projects as Norma encouraged me to pursue high goals to tackle a pressing issue: mental health awareness. With her extensive knowledge of the Gold Award process and a passion for tackling community issues, I asked Norma to be my project advisor. She stood with me through the challenges I faced in turning my goals into a reality, and eventually, I succeeded in completing a Gold Award project that was meaningful and impactful for my peers, community, and me.
Now that I’m in college, my relationship with Norma remains important. She still finds opportunities for me to push myself, stay involved with Girl Scouts, and improve the Girl Scouting community. The most recent exaple, is that she told me about the Over the Edge event and helped me view raising $1,000 as a fun challenge, not an insurmountable obstacle.
Girl Scouts has given me the space to grow more fearless, starting from a shy fourth grader trying out the camp sampler, building up to space camp, and more! Participating as a rappeller in Over the Edge is just one more thing I can add to my list of fearless opportunities that I have gained through my time at Girl Scouts. I greatly appreciate everything Girl Scouts and Norma has done for me! She is kind, innovative, strong, and a visionary for the future of Girl Scouts. She truly is a mentor and a friend to me.
As a troop leader, you make a significant impact in your girls’ lives. You are their fearless leader!
Ashleyn Prezedwiecki is the Events and Communications Specialist for Girl Scouts River Valleys. She’s your fearless expert on all things Over the Edge and ready to shout from the roof tops about why we love Girl Scouts. She wants to share your story and hear why you want to take girls to new heights!