Allison Whitmer is a current Troop Leader out of Service…
Although initially Natasha Hamilton was super nervous about becoming a troop leader, after 10 years, she’s proven to be the role model her girls needed. Troop 75084 is lucky to have her and so is GSSEM!
When her daughter was beginning kindergarten, Natasha says no one stepped up to form a new troop. A friend of hers was a current troop leader and persuaded her to go ahead get the troop started. She was quite nervous at the time, (and still is today) however, as the troop progressed, she saw that it was more than teaching girls new skills. It was about building them up and helping them find their own unique way to make the world a better place.
Natasha’s troop consists of Cadette, Senior, and Ambassador girls, and she says they’re tough judges of character. So, her favorite part of being a leader is the gift of trust her girls give her. Especially considering that she recently merged troops, and has a lot of new girls to get to know, one of the goals she has is to make this shift as seamless as possible. They’re still working out details, but several excursions and field trips are in the works! Specifically, they’ve made plans to stay at the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island, visit Savannah, spend a week at Space Camp, take a cruise to meet Girl Guides, and go to Europe. The field trips include self-defense, blacksmithing to make their own knives for camp, visiting the capitol in Lansing, going to a ball game, and going to the zoo. Wow!
After 10 years of being a Girl Scout leader, Natasha has so made so many memories , that it’s hard to pick just one. However, a tradition she had with her old troop stands out: To get them to wind down during overnight adventures, she’d tell her troop Greek Myths as bedtime stories. The following day, they’d discuss the myth and analyze the moral behind it. Then, on their own, the girls would create a skit with the same moral and characters, but based on modern situations. How cool it was for her to witness what the girls come up with to do in their free time, be creative, and lead their own Girl Scout journey.
Need advice from a vet? Natasha has this to say:
“I can’t very well expect them to lead their lives with courage, confidence, and character if I do not walk the walk, myself. The life-long impact you have on your girls is so important. Girls need to know that there are people in their community supporting them and cheering them on. It’s easy to get frustrated chasing parents for forms or doing cookie math, but just remember these are the tools of empowering girls. With each field trip, overnight, or troop meeting, you are showing girls that they are significant and important. That they are whole people, right now, capable of great things.”
Thank you, Natasha!
Do you know a volunteer who’s gone above and beyond? Nominate them to be featured on GSSEM’s Volunteer Spotlight at www.gssem.org/volspotlight!