*This story originally published on June 30, 2016.
In loving memory of Jason Coppedge, 1979 – 2017.
Jason Coppedge is Man Enough to be a Girl Scout!
When it came time to choose extra-curricular activities for their daughter and son, there was not much discussion between Jason and Shana Coppedge – Scouting was #1 on their list. Shana is a Girl Scout Alumna and Jason is a Boy Scout Alum with a lot on that resume. He is a former staff member of Camp Nash, attended National and World Boy Scout Jamborees, hiked Philmont and earned his Eagle Scout Award!
Jason and Shana registered their daughter Piper for Girl Scouts when she was in first grade and she joined an established Daisy Troop. At the end of that amazing year, Piper’s leader stepped down. However, Jason was there to step up. He eagerly took on the troop of seven year old Girl Scout Brownies and officially declared himself Man Enough to be a Girl Scout!
“Some of my fondest memories involved Scouting and I wanted her to be able to have that same experience and keep the girls together,” Jason said.
And he’s done just that. Over the past five years Jason and his co-leaders have led Troop 3145 on some amazing experiences and adventures. They are a troop that absolutely loves camping, building fires, learning survival skills and generally experiencing the outdoors.
One of Jason’s favorite memories is from one of the first troop campouts. After the girls helped cook dinner and cleaned everything up, they found themselves with some extra time on their hands. Jason challenged them to find something to do. Before he knew it the girls were playing Zombie Tag, a game they came up with all on their own.
“Scouting teaches a lot of values that are sometimes missed with today’s technology. It gets you back to the basics in life like camping, how to start a fire and fix things.”
The only difference the girls of Troop 3145 see in having Jason as a troop leader is that his craft skills aren’t quite up those of some of his co-leaders…
“It’s definitely entertaining to see him try to do the crafts,” Piper said!
“I know when to ask for help!” Jason said!
To close out their final year as Girl Scout Juniors, the girls headed down to Jason’s “office,” South Metro Fire Department in Raymore, MO to work on their Take Action Project – a video on gender stereotypes in male-dominated professions. On Jason’s shift is a female firefighter and paramedic who graciously answered all their questions on camera and led them through some training drills!
As Troop 3145 bridges up, Jason sees himself and his co-leaders stepping back more. “Next year the girls are leading –it’ll be a different boat. They’ll work together and we will help them organize.”
In fact, Piper already has her eyes set on earning her Gold Award in the future. It’s easy to tell that she looks up to Jason as her dad AND as her troop leader.
“I can definitely confide in him if I have problems. I don’t get my word heard first; he makes it fair so everyone gets their word heard,” Piper explained.
In addition to leading Troop 3145, Jason is also involved in Boy Scouts as Advancement Chair, Trainer and Assistant Den Leader for his son’s Boy Scout troop.
Jason describes being Piper’s troop leader as “total enjoyment,” and something that he encourages every dad to think about.
“I don’t think [being her troop leader] should be that big of a deal. Dads shouldn’t be afraid to step up for their daughters and help them out.”
Thanks for all you do for girls, Jason! Do you know a man that has declared himself Man Enough to be a Girl Scout?! Let us know in the comments below!