Finding a way for fathers and daughters to connect can sometimes be a challenge. For Girl Scout dad, Randy Searcy, transitioning from a life coaching sports with his son to becoming a Girl Scout troop leader was a leap into uncharted waters. He quickly discovered the world of Girl Scouts was more than just a commitment to his daughters, it was something he really enjoyed. As a troop leader for the Juniors in troop 3470 in St. Joseph, MO, Randy Searcy is an amazing example of a dad “Man Enough to be a Girl Scout” and building an even stronger bond with his daughters.
The Searcy family has been involved in Girl Scouts since daughter Lauren (now 9 and a Junior) joined as a Daisy. Daughter Madeline (now 8 and a Brownie), is also part of the troop and her age group is led by Randy’s wife, Jessica, who has been involved since the girls started. Randy’s decision to get involved in Girl Scouts came from a desire to be more involved with his daughters when he found that his son’s sports obligations were no longer taking as much of his time.
“I coached my son in sports a lot when he was growing up, but as he got into high school, he didn’t need dad as a coach as much anymore […] so I started getting involved with the girls more. They weren’t real hip on basketball or things like that, but they really enjoyed Girl Scouts. So I made the decision that if I wanted to spend more time with them, I was going to need to get involved. As I got more involved, I found I really enjoyed it,” Randy said.
Soon after he started working with the girls, Randy became troop leader for the Juniors in the troop, with wife Jessica leading the Brownies. In all, troop 3470 has about 30 girls. Now, Girl Scouts has become a family affair. They work on cookie sales, badges and events together, helping the family spend time together in fun, educational ways.
While troop 3470 does a wide range of activities, his girls especially love getting badges. “The girls are badge hounds, but we do a mix of everything,” Randy said. He loves getting to watch the new skills his daughters are learning and how Girl Scouts challenges them to discover new things. “During cookie season, the program teaches them how to run their own small business. Skills like that are things they may not get from school or other activities,” Randy said.
As a dad, Randy especially loves the way that Girl Scouts provides opportunities to his girls and how he gets to see them grow as young women. “Girl Scouts opens their eyes to things they may not have ever tried on their own,” Randy said.
This past winter the troop participated in a cardboard sled building competition, hosted a food drive at and ran a clothing drive. The 2015 clothing drive was a particularly successful event, with the troop gathering more than 1200 clothing items. The troop also participates in the South Side Fall Festival each year where the girls build a float to participate in the parade. That’s all in addition to camping, badge earning and the friendship building the troop gets to do. Talk about an active Girl Scout experience!
For the cookie season, the troop worked together to create a drive-thru cookie station in a large parking lot. Customers were able to drive-thru to pick up orders and they had a ton of success. What a great, innovative way to get sales! One of the coolest things about troop 3470 is their level of motivation. The girls didn’t have a particular goal for their money yet, but they worked hard to get as much as they could anyway, knowing they would probably come up with an idea in the future. Awesome financial planning, Girl Scouts!
The troop also takes advantage of our amazing Girl Scout community partners. “Because there are community partners in St. Joe, the girls get to do a lot of things without it costing the parents a lot of money. It enables the girls to do a lot more,” Randy said. Recently they did an activity with the Robidoux Resident Theater and worked on a badge with them! He loved getting to see his daughters do research on a woman in history, then dress up and present the woman to the rest of the troop.
Being a man in a world of Girl Scouts may have been completely new and intimidating at first, but Randy has found a passion for helping his daughters grow into amazing women. Rather than watching from the sidelines, he’s involved and seeing a boost in his connection with his daughters. “Our girls have been involved since kindergarten and it was always a mom and girls thing. Then as dads started getting involved, the girls got excited. I know we’ve gotten closer because of it,” Randy said.
If he had one thing to say to dads of Girl Scouts, it would be to “just give it a shot. You’ll never know if you like it until you try it,” Randy said. He has noticed a boost of dad involvement within his own troop just in the past year, and knows the girls really enjoy having the family involved.
This week is National Volunteer Appreciation Week and we certainly appreciate the Searcy family! It’s amazing all the things they’re doing for the Girl Scouts in St. Joseph, MO. What an inspiring North Region troop and leader! If you know of an awesome volunteers or Girl Scout dads, share the story in the comments below!
Thank you, Randy, for being Man Enough to be a Girl Scout!