Scouts Through The Generations
Local mom instills organization’s ethics in her daughter
By Annelise Krafft; Photos courtesy Girls Scouts
Leading a Girl Scout troop always felt daunting to 85085 mom Allison Buffington.
A year ago, the native Arizonan left her comfort zone when she realized there were no troops available in her area for her 6-year-old daughter Brynlee. She became one of the leaders of her daughter’s Daily troop with Girl Scouts-Arizona Cactus-Pine Council.
“I never imagined that I would be a leader,” Buffington says. “To be honest, the idea of leading my daughter’s Girl Scout troop terrified me at the start.”
Buffington understands the benefits of Scouts.
“I was a Girl Scout growing up, and I wanted to make sure Brynlee had a chance to experience the amazing benefits and make lifelong friends as I did,” Buffington says. “Being a Girl Scout made such a huge impact on my life. I’m still friends with girls I met through Girl Scouts in kindergarten!”
Buffington is also following in her mother’s footsteps. She was Buffington’s troop leader when she was a Daisy.
“It’s amazing to use this as a bonding experience with Brynlee, but also to share an experience with my mom,” Buffington says. “One thing I’m learning is this is definitely not my mother’s Girl Scouts. The opportunities available to girls have evolved so much, while still maintaining all the opportunities I grew up with.”
One of those constants is the Girl Scout Cookie Program. In just one year, Buffington’s troop of seven spunky 6-year-olds tackled the two-year Daisy program, earning all their petals and dominating their first cookie season.
“We came into the cookie season late, so we set a low goal for ourselves, wanting to sell just 300 boxes,” Buffington recalls.
“We ended up selling 835 boxes. The girls were so excited to see their hard work pay off.”
Outside of cookies, the girls were involved in making a booth for World Thinking Day, an event put on by Girl Scouts worldwide to celebrate diverse cultures and a connected community. The booth’s theme was Italy and they handed out pizza and eagerly shared their knowledge about the country with attendees.
“The girls put the booth together completely on their own, even down to making arts and crafts for participants to decorate,” Buffington boasts. “That’s a big responsibility for a 6-year-old, and the girls learned so much about what it takes to be in a leadership role.”
After a year of learning the Girl Scouts’ inner workings, Buffington is amazed at the opportunities the girls have.
“I can’t believe how many STEM opportunities there are for young girls, and camp-based experiences, from horseback riding to unbelievable things like learning how to fly an airplane,” Buffington says. “I’m eager to explore more opportunities with Brynlee and the other girls next year as Brownies.”
Buffington has a few tips for new troop leaders.
“I’ve found that one of the biggest tips to surviving as a troop leader is mastering time management,” she says.
She wants to tell parents, too, not to be reluctant about taking on a leading role.
“I know it feels like there’s not enough time to do it all, but everyone feels that way. As I said, I was terrified at the beginning,” Buffington says. “It can be done, and Girl Scouts helped us every step of the way. It’s also so rewarding for the girls—and being able to help champion their potential is amazing.”