Spotlight on Troop Leader Trimona Ray – Kansas City, Missouri
Trimona Ray didn’t know very much about Girl Scouts when her oldest daughter, Kendall, began asking to join a troop in third grade. She wasn’t a Girl Scout growing up in the 1980’s and it just wasn’t a big thing when she was in school.
When she asked about becoming a troop leader she was told she could start her own troop at her church.
“That was a game changer for me,” Trimona said. “It was a blessing to be able to provide a faith-based Girl Scout troop for girls at my church.”
Her church is Shalom Missionary Baptist Church located in Kansas City, Missouri. Troop 659 began with a small number of girls who attended church there. But by its second year it had grown to 30 girls, Daisies through Juniors, from all walks of life. The troop now includes both of Trimona’s daughters. Kendall is a Cadette and Taelor is a Junior.
“After the first year I got a great response from the parents,” Trimona said. “They asked me to open the troop up to the community as a whole and it grew from there.”
Trimona just finished her fourth year as a leader and says hers is a troop that has a lot of ideas and is always on the go! As it is girl-led, she helps them decide what activities they want to put on their yearly calendar. They just finished up their product sales reward adventures for the year. The younger girls chose Great Wolf Lodge and the older girls chose a trip to Branson!
“I encourage them to dream big,” Trimona said. “We keep a running list of things they are interested in doing. One year we went zip-lining at camp. I want them to know anything is possible.”
Trimona says they are already planning to travel to Minnesota to visit Mall of America as part of their goal setting for the 2015-2016 Cookie Program.
Inspiring them to reach for the stars and work hard to get there, Trimona says she has seen the girls become much more accountable. They do plenty of community service where she hopes to teach them if you have it to give then you should give it.
“I feel there is a certain way we need to live,” Trimona said. “These girls are looking to you to know what is acceptable. I’m watching them transform as they become more conscious of the things they say and do. They are striving to be good people.”
Managing a multi-level troop can be challenging at times but Trimona has help from three great assistants who help her manage a troop of daisies to ambassadors. Trimona also has a great group of parents to lean on for support.
“It takes a village to raise these children,” Trimona said. “So if I do my part and you do yours, we’ll end up with some pretty amazing people!”
If there is someone out there who is thinking about volunteering as a troop leader, Trimona encourages them to write down what you would want your troop to become. Write down your questions, such as what level you are interested in leading, and then you can seek answers from experienced people.
“These are little mentees who are going to need you,” Trimona said. “You will play a very big role in their lives so you will need to get organized with your mission.”
Organization and planning aside, Trimona LOVES being a Girl Scout leader and enjoys knowing she is truly impacting the lives of girls in her community.
Trimona, thank you for the amazing impact you have on your troop and beyond! You are a treasure to so many and we are lucky to have you as a volunteer.
Do you know a Girl Scout volunteer who deserves a highlight on the blog? We want to hear from you – share your story today!