Juniors Lead By Example

A Junior Girl Scout troop understands leadership

Junior Girl Scout leader Lyn Schmidt is proud of troop #1893. Similar to last week’s featured Daisy troop (#42066), this group of [almost] 6th graders is based out of St. Petronille school. Also similar to the Daisy troop, when the group formed as Daisies there was a high interest. Out of 35 girls in the class, 35 were in the Daisy troop. These girls have been together for 7 years, though Schmidt has only been at the helm for the past 4.

“One leader moved away. The next leader couldn’t do it anymore, so I started leading the girls about 4 years ago,” Schmidt explained.

The troop, now consisting of 22 girls, has participated in numerous service projects together. Twice they sent care packages to the soldiers in Iraq, both collecting the items themselves and sending requests to other troops from the school. They enjoyed the letters they received in return.

Over the years, troop 1893 has done things to benefit our local community as well.

Schmidt said, “We’ve visited residents at Sunrise of Glen Ellyn, the senior living community. They seemed to enjoy that,” she continued.

In addition to serving our direct community, troop 1893 also helped an older Girl Scout with an ongoing book drive service project that branched into other communities.

Troop member Lauren Pones explained that she continues with the troop for similar reasons, “I like it because I like watching the community grow. It’s fun to be with friends, using our minds and creativity to do fun stuff.”

 To expand on Miss Pones’s like of creativity, the girls are going to White Pines Dude Ranch in Oregon, IL, Schmidt advised. According to the website, the ranch offers various crafts, hiking, swimming, and trail rides throughout the summer.

When asked why she continues with the troop, member (and Schmidt’s daughter) Alex said, “I think it’s very fun because we go to fun camps and have fun meetings that we get to be a part of!”

Ms. Schmidt explained that the girls get to plan their own meetings, “They’re learning leadership and they get to take more ownership in what they’re doing this way.”

At the beginning of the year, the girls gather to look through the book and determine which badges they’d like to work on. The requirements are that they have to touch on every aspect in order to obtain the badge, according to Ms. Schmidt.

“This also helps the girls feel more involved with each other, it doesn’t matter what group they get put into to work on stuff. They all do it together,” she said.

Speaking of the leadership that troop 1893 learns from planning their own goals, the girls displayed this trait when they recently helped the school’s younger Daisy troops bridge to the Brownie level on May 23 of this year.

As the girls get older, traditionally the interest in groups like this wanes. When asked about the future of troop 1893 Schmidt replied, “As long as they’re still interested, we’ll do it!”

"It's really fun to be with all of your friends and we all love the camping. Our troop leaders are really nice, too!" said troop member Ella Crowley


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