As co-managers or DeSoto Girl Scout Service Unite #213, Deborah Franklin and Tanya Clay are a joint force of nature. Together, they involve their girls in fun recreational activities like annual roller-skating parties and marching in holiday parades and as well as community-serving projects such as meal preps for Ronald McDonald House. Their combined enthusiasm for helping girls grow strong and confident is palpable, and when they divide and conquer to lead their individual troops, sparks of inspiration fly for the girl leaders of tomorrow.
A Girl Scout volunteer for nearly 16 years, Deborah originally stepped in to help lead her daughter’s troop when she was a Daisy. Over the years, she says, she’s noticed the program helps girls grow more confident and unafraid to speak their mind. “They look at the world a little differently. More compassionate with the world, helping others that may be less fortunate than them.”
Although her daughter has now graduated out of the program, Deborah continues to lead the troop. “It’s amazing to see them grow, she says. “That part is very fulfilling for me: to see them grow over the years. And you can only if you continue to participate and stick with it.”
And DeSoto’s Girl Scouts are grateful that she has.
Tanya’s passion Girl Scouts is evident from the moment you meet her, and it’s an enthusiasm from her own childhood early experiences as a Brownie and in a children’s program at the YWCA. When her daughter, Makayla, was a Daisy, she stepped in as troop leader and hasn’t looked back Today, she leads two troops, one of younger girls and one for older girls, including now eighth-grader Makayla.
Her leadership shines through spearheading new troop partnerships with women’s shelters and leading service projects providing ready-made “birthdays in a box” for children experiencing homelessness. That inspiration continues through boldly venturing toward new Girl Scout experiences.
As her daughter continues to grow through Girl Scouts and explore new adventures in it, like travel program Destinations, Tanya hopes the two of them are creating a legacy and paths for others in their troop to follow. “Sometimes if they see it, they can believe it,” she asserts.