Tara Tilton leads Girl Scout Troop 30261, encourages others to join
CLAREMONT, NH – She says she “bleeds green” because Girl Scouting is part of her every day. And with good reason – Tara Tilton has been a Girl Scout leader for eight years, always involved in helping her Girl Scouts make the world a better place. She has now been named the Volunteer of the Month for November by Girl Scouts of the Green and White Mountains, the council serving Girl Scouts across New Hampshire and Vermont.
Tilton, 46, of Claremont, guides Troop 30261, a group of 12 girls in kindergarten through 10th grade who meet biweekly in Newport.
“Tara is a go-getter!” said DeeDee Rice, Volunteer Support Specialist for the council. “She provides a great all-around program for her girls. She supports other troops in the service unit as the Community Product Sale Coordinator (the cookie organizer for her area), and volunteers quite frequently to assist with recruitment.”
A homeschooler, Tilton wanted to involve her daughter in activities that she could also share in, and Girl Scouts fit the bill.
“I didn’t want to just drop and go,” she said. “I wanted to know who she was with and what she was doing. I enjoyed it! It was a fun time to do activities.”
Enrolling daughter Kylie as a Brownie led to Tilton becoming co-leader of the troop, which at one time had 20 members. She currently has a troop of 12, with two Daisies (kindergarten and first grade), three Brownies (in grades 2-3), one Junior (for grades 4-5), four Cadettes (for grades 6-8), and two Seniors (those in grades 9-10). COVID-19 took a toll on involvement, but the troop is still busy earning badges, doing community service, and just having fun together.
The Girl Scout troop recently hosted a booth for the Claremont Fall Festival and Chili Cook-off, where they won the judges’ choice for their chili, took third place overall, and got to celebrate Girl Scout founder Juliette Gordon Low’s birthday as the theme of their booth.
“We’ve done it every year,” said Tilton. “They come to my house and make chili. We did it in batches.”
Her Girl Scouts like to camp out in Tilton’s back yard, enjoyed a trip to the Rocking Horse Ranch as a benefit of their cookie sales, and visited the Mystic Aquarium, Sturbridge Village, and the Montshire Museum, to name just a few of their activities.
During the pandemic, the troop met on Zoom, and Tilton packed up and delivered supplies for each girl so they could earn badges and hear from special speakers.
“We did all of our Space Explorer badges,” she said. A professor from Stellafane, a Vermont amateur astronomy and telescope-making club, talked to them about becoming an astronomer. “It helped them through the pandemic.”
During Girl Scout Cookie season, the girls not only gained business skills, they also stretched their ability to adapt to difficulties by limiting their close contact with customers.
“They loved the drive-through cookie booths,” Tilton said. “They missed being able to count the money (due to safety concerns). They enjoy carrying baskets to the cars.”
Tilton is always happy to share her love and enthusiasm for Girl Scouting and has hosted recruitment events where she shares her experience with parents.
“I would tell parents it’s a great organization with great values to instill in their daughters,” she said. “It’s a lot of fun! Most of all, the girls get a lot out of it. They will become future leaders of their own.”
Girl Scout of the Green and White Mountains is proud to call Tara Tilton its Volunteer of the Month for November, and thanks her for her service to girls and adult volunteers.
Both girls and adults are encouraged to join Girl Scouts. See more at www.girlscoutsgwm.org.
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Girl Scouts of the Green and White Mountains serves girls throughout New Hampshire and Vermont through volunteer-run troops, events, and virtual programs. Visit www.girlscoutsgwm.org to learn more.