Barb Fraser is not intimidated by much. Not even the prospect of facing of 35 girls looking for something to do. Together with six “exceptional” co-leaders, Fraser is the leader of a city-wide Girl Scout troop. Last year the troop had 48 girls total, a number that would send most parents running for cover. Described as a “go-to person” who keeps things organized, Fraser has been a volunteer for Girl Scouts of the Northwestern Great Lakes for five years. She started volunteering because she was new to Wisconsin Rapids and wanted to get involved in her community. “I knew Girl Scouts was a good organization. We wanted my stepdaughter to get involved and I wanted to connect with some positive people,” she noted.
The troop is multi-age which can present challenges. They begin each meeting together by reciting the Girl Scout Promise and Law, then break off into grades for age-appropriate activities. Still, there is plenty of overlap as Girl Scout programming enables girls of all ages to work on the same Journeys or areas of interest; the curriculum is adjusted by age. Fraser noted that the multi-age aspect allows older girls to step up as leaders to the younger girls. She recalls a ninth grader who didn’t feel she fit in with her school’s troop of fellow ninth graders. This girl joined Fraser’s community troop and is now in her second year with them. The opportunity to be a leader and a role model for other girls has been key. “She steps in wherever she’s needed and runs with it. She’s an excellent, phenomenal girl.”
Another advantage to the city-wide troop is the diversity. Fraser noted that the girls get along really well without bullying or personality clashes. She attributes it in part to the fact that the girls come from different schools and are able to leave a bad day behind and have start anew. “The girls come to our meetings as their unique selves and have the ability to leave a bad day behind and start fresh.”
To get involved with Girl Scouts or to learn more about volunteering, visit www.gsnwgl.org or call 888.747.6945.
In partnership with over 6,000 adult volunteers, GSNWGL serves nearly 20,000 girls in 58 counties across northern Wisconsin and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Girl Scouts is the world’s preeminent leadership development organization for girls, building girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place. To join, volunteer, reconnect, or donate to Girl Scouts, call 888.747.6945 or visit www.gsnwgl.org. GSNWGL is a proud United Way partner program.
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