Kristin Doherty is named Girl Scout Volunteer of the Month for September
MERRIMACK, NH – Embracing leadership in all forms and showing girls what it means to be resilient, learning to lead on their own terms - that's the power of being a Girl Scout troop leader. Kristin Doherty is just that kind of leader, and she has been named the Volunteer of the Month for September by Girl Scouts of the Green and White Mountains.
Doherty, 44, of Merrimack, is co-leader of Troop 60533 in Bedford, a group of 10 girls in grades 3-5 who met virtually over the past year. She is a lifetime member of Girl Scouts, and came to New Hampshire two years ago with the experience of leading Girl Scouts in California, was co-leader of a troop after high school in Maryland, and was part of a Girl Scout encampment team in California. She is a Gold Award Girl Scout who began as a Brownie and never stopped volunteering.
“I started in Germany in first grade,” she said, as the child of a military family. “The great thing about being a Girl Scout, being a military child, is you always have friends, no matter where you go. If you find another Girl Scout, you’re going to have that instant connection. So it was great to know that I could move and have friends no matter where I ended up.”
Now she is the spouse of a military member, and homeschools her two children, who are 15 and 10. Her daughter is following in her footsteps, and has already earned her Bronze Award, the highest honor for a Girl Scout Junior – those in grades 4 and 5.
Co-leader Alisa Otterson said Doherty goes far beyond with her girls.
“We were a virtual troop, and she made every meeting fun,” said Otterson. “She is always fully prepared. We make sure the girls have all the supplies needed and she covers everything to earn that badge. The girls earned more badges this year than previous year, and had fun doing it.”
“I tried to do different things – hands-on activities, a virtual Christmas party, crafts, virtual campfire sing-alongs,” said Doherty. “The big thing is consistency. Have the (Girl Scout) Promise, the Law, the Pledge, talk, do the badges and activities. I had to know when to back up a little bit, change it up, add a song, add a story. I never wanted them to get bored.”
“She has a gift for being a leader but keeping the girls on point if they start getting distracted,” said Otterson.
She emphasizes to her Girl Scouts that they are not just having fun, they are learning life skills that will be helpful to them down the road. She loves watching them grow and become more confident.
“Being able to voice their opinion, have their voice, know they’re heard,” she said, is important. "There were a couple of girls who were really quiet. Being virtual, we would make sure to call on everyone, give them their voice. With a couple of girls, it’s almost a complete switch from the year before. They have worked so hard … so hard!”
Doherty said she loves it because she can see there’s a future for these girls. “They’re going to go all the way! I want to foster that. If I can give them the foundation of Girl Scouts, I kind of feel like I’ve done my job.”
She credits the leaders she had as a girl for instilling her values, and vowed to be like them once she could volunteer as a leader.
“It’s a fine line between friendship and leader,” she said. “They know they can come to me if they’re having a problem or anything like that. I feel like I’m doing something good.”
Doing good is exactly what her troop did, such as when they made 100 holiday cards for members of the military.
It’s clear that Kristin Doherty gives her all to her troop and community. Girl Scouts of the Green and White Mountains is grateful for her giving spirit, and is proud to honor her as Volunteer of the Month.
Girls are welcome to join Girl Scouts any time of the year, and at any age. Participate by joining an existing troop, forming a new troop, or even as an individual member. Regular membership is just $40, and extended year membership through September 30, 2022, is $56, with financial aid available.
Girl Scouts is here for girls through it all. Cheering them on, lifting them up, and celebrating their strengths. Today, tomorrow, together—we’re on their team. See more at 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 girls throughout New Hampshire and Vermont, girls discover the fun, friendship, and power of girls together. Visit www.girlscoutsgwm.org .