Northfield woman noted for keeping Girl Scouts active through pandemic
NORTHFIELD, VT – For keeping her Girl Scouts involved and engaged despite the hardships of the COVID-19 pandemic, being the facilitator for her troop to achieve their goals, and committing her time and energy to her Girl Scouts, Kellianne Sutton-Bosley of Northfield has been chosen as the Volunteer of the Month for February by Girl Scouts of the Green and White Mountains, the council serving girls across Vermont and New Hampshire.
“Kellianne has been an amazing co-leader the past few years, but since the pandemic hit she has been instrumental in leading our virtual meetings,” said her co-leader, Erin Paquette. “She kept the troop moving forward this summer with online badge work and virtual social gatherings. When our COVID numbers were great and we could meet in person, she helped gather the girls and organized all of the materials to run a few badge blasts at our outside venue. She is always willing to jump onto any plan the girls want to participate in.”
Because of a commitment to keeping the Girl Scout experience affordable, Sutton-Bosley said they have used Girl Scout Cookies and Girl Scout Fall Product to fund their adventures, including a trip to Washington, D.C., and the Women’s March in Montpelier, prior to the pandemic. They are working on selecting their next destination with the girls. They had hoped to travel to Orlando, Florida, but the pandemic stopped them.
Sutton-Bosley gives Paquette credit for that mindset. “Erin is absolutely amazing,” she said. “She’s incredible and so driven. One of her mantras is never to put girls in position where they can’t do something because they can’t afford it.”
They make sure the troop’s activities are girl-led, giving each girl the chance to make her voice heard, and learn to make decisions.
“I think the biggest key is work off the girls,” said Sutton-Bosley. “Don’t just let them go – keep prompting them.”
With the Girl Scout Cookie season currently in full swing, her Girl Scouts, who range from Juniors to Seniors (fourth-graders to ninth-graders), are ready to participate in cookie sales, but with all possible safety precautions in place.
“We’ve taken a very careful approach to cookies this year,” she said. “So they decided they did want to participate in cookies but will be careful about it. They all have Digital Cookie booths set up. Each will take a flyer to people they usually knock on doors for, leave a flyer.”
She said last year’s private group Facebook page was helpful. This year, just getting the girls to do what they can while pandemic restrictions are in place is enough.
“The big goal is just to participate,” she said. “We ended up with cases of cookies last year and no booths to sell them at. We pushed through (the private) Facebook (page). Girls got out there on the phones, and called everyone. Right now we’re in a healthy position because they’ve been so active. It does teach them a business lesson. That’s been our big focus – do what we’re comfortable with, take care of ourselves.”
Sutton-Bosley is a lifelong Girl Scout, having started as a Brownie, and went all the way through, earning her Girl Scout Gold Award – Girl Scouting’s highest honor – for a project putting together information for battered women. She has been the co-leader of Troop 30192 for almost four years. She also helps with the Civil Air Patrol, and teaches history at Norwich University, along with running operations for several graduate programs and the graduate writing center for the university.
She encourages anyone considering Girl Scouts for themselves or their girl to give it a try.
“It’s incredible to watch them grow,” she said. “I do think there’s an ease that comes to them, participating in Girl Scouts. Watching them all grow more independent, and figure things out.”
And she couldn’t be prouder of her Girl Scouts: “My current troop is awesome, some of the best girls in the state!”
Girl Scouts of the Green and White Mountains is grateful for all Kellianne Sutton-Bosley has given to Girl Scouts, and is proud to call her Volunteer of the Month.
To find out more about joining Girl Scouts as a girl or adult, see www.girlscoutsgwm.org.
About Girl Scouts of the Green and White Mountains: Girl Scouts of the Green and White Mountains is recognized throughout New Hampshire and Vermont as a leading expert on girls. Our Girl Scout Leadership Experience is a one-of-a-kind leadership development program for girls, with proven results. It is based on time-tested methods and research-backed programming that helps girls take the lead—in their own lives and in the world. Through our exciting and challenging programs, Girl Scouts not only participate but also take the lead in a range of activities—from kayaking, archery, and camping, to coding, robotics, financial literacy training, and beyond! Serving nearly 10,000 girls throughout New Hampshire and Vermont, girls discover the fun, friendship, and power of girls together. Visit www.girlscoutsgwm.org.