Marie Daneau of Girl Scout Troop 61845 named Volunteer of the Month
ESSEX JUNCTION, VT – When it comes to giving girls an opportunity to be strong, use their voices, and make the world a better place, you couldn’t ask for a better mentor than Marie Daneau, leader of Girl Scout Troop 61845. She has been named Volunteer of the Month for January by Girl Scouts of the Green and White Mountains, the council serving Girl Scouts across Vermont and New Hampshire.
Daneau wanted to be sure that her co-leaders are also recognized, without whom she said the troop would be nothing. They are Jaclyn Pratt, Andrea Francalangia and Sara Massino.
“I’ve been very fortunate,” said Daneau, who began her volunteer experience with the new troop in January 2021. “We all have different skills sets. Some of us like arts and crafts, some of us don’t mind singing, some of us are good with the structure of the meeting or helping out with discipline stuff or organizing it to keep the group happy, so that’s been great. We all kind of jump in and help each other.”
This troop of 15 Brownies began in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, bringing kindergartners from the different areas around the Essex community together. They started with Zoom meetings, but were meeting in person by springtime outdoors.
“Daisies is a lot of like storytelling and acting things out,” she said, explaining how the Zoom meetings played out. “We did the best we could! I had made up little kits for them all so they all had the same arts and crafts stuff, and little books to keep them busy, so they all had that in common. By the time we had our first meeting, it was late January, so we were thrown into the midst of cookie season.”
Fortunately, Daneau and her co-leaders had all been in Girl Scouts when they were young, so they knew what to expect and how the Girl Scout Cookie program helps participants learn valuable life skills and funds the activities the troop wants to pursue.
Their first in-person activity was to help with the annual Green-Up Day cleanup, allowing everyone to finally meet face to face. They’ve volunteered at a local toy drive and at a trick-or-treat trail. The troop really enjoyed the Wonderfeet Kid’s Museum in Rutland, where they worked on their rollercoaster engineering badge and got to explore the museum.
“They were all excited to go on their first field trip,” said Daneau. “We’d given them a choice between that and a trip to the planetarium up in St. Johnsbury. That badge was good because they had all the resources for us. They had all the supplies and things that were needed to work on that. Whereas for us, to bring that in for a troop our size, we would have needed a lot of materials. So it was nice.”
The 2023 Girl Scout Cookie season has just begun, and Daneau said they are all looking forward to the experience.
“My daughter loves cookie season,” she said. “Our girls, now 7 and 8, are still very community minded. They voted to donate $200 worth of toys to the drive from their cookie money. We talked to them about kids in need, developed a shopping list, Jaclyn gets them with troop funds. Did a trick or treat trail. They love doing that. Troop funds to buy candy. They all man that. They love giving back to their community.”
The parents of her Girl Scouts are also very supportive, making sure the meetings are well attended and helping with community events.
Daneau began her Girl Scout journey as a Brownie around second grade, and remembers the fun she had doing badges, cookie sales, and camping. She wanted to make sure her daughter, Ivy, had that same opportunity.
She said she knows “how important it is to have strong female role models and wanting young girls to understand that they can make a difference. And that they have a voice, and not being afraid to use it. I’m all for girl empowerment and things like that.”
When not giving her time to Girl Scouts, Daneau works for the Department of Homeland Security, as a Supervisor at the Vermont Service Center. She is mother to Ivy, 7, and son Griffin, 9.
But it’s all about giving her Girl Scouts a great female role model, helping her community, and connecting with parents who share these values. Girl Scouts of the Green and White Mountains is proud to call Marie Daneau its Volunteer of the Month.
We Are Girl Scouts
Girl Scouts bring their dreams to life and work together to build a better world. Through programs from coast to coast, Girl Scouts of all backgrounds and abilities can be unapologetically themselves as they discover their strengths and rise to meet new challenges—whether they want to climb to the top of a tree or the top of their class, lace up their boots for a hike or advocate for climate justice, or make their first best friends. Backed by trusted adult volunteers, mentors, and millions of alums, Girl Scouts lead the way as they find their voices and make changes that affect the issues most important to them. To join us, volunteer, reconnect, or donate, visit girlscouts.org.
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.