Troop 347’s flag ceremony is textbook perfect. The girls approach, calm, poised and confident. Their uniforms are always immaculate. It’s no surprise. Behind every strong G.I.R.L. is a strong support network. And Janice Coakley, veteran Girl Scout leader is an integral part of that network.
Janice began as a Girl Scout volunteer when her oldest daughter was in 6th grade. That troop was comprised of six cadettes and they made their own troop flag for their first project.
30 years later, she’s still going strong with her troop of 14 girls, ranging from Cadettes to Ambassadors. “I wanted to give my daughter the opportunity to develop the skills you gain from Girl Scouts. I did not stop as a troop leader after my girls graduated because I wanted to make sure the girls had that opportunity and mentorship.”
Janice loves being a mentor, and it shows. She brings her troop to different events and she creates opportunities for them that they wouldn’t otherwise have the chance to experience. She loves seeing her girls get excited and develop the skills they gain from Girl Scouts. Watching her girls grow, thrive and give back to their community are favorite things about volunteering.
“I continue to stay a troop leader because of the potentials girls get out of Girl Scouting. I push them to earn their Silver and Gold awards to get the most out of the organization and to continue to practice giving back to the community,” says Janice, who’s mentored 30 girls from her troop through the Gold Award process. But her girls don’t just stop with the Girl Scout High Awards. Two of her girls have also earned the Bill Gates Presidential Award.
Janice, now a lifetime Girl Scout member, was not a Girl Scout as a girl. But she is a tremendous advocate for the Girl Scout experience and the skills and experiences girls develop.
"Janice is a shining example of the positive impact our volunteers can have on the lives of girls. Her dedication to girls in our community is inspiring,” says Chelsea Wilkerson, CEO of Girl Scouts of Tropical Florida.