Julia Miller began her adult leadership journey with Girl Scouts 17 years ago in Germany as part of Girl Scout Overseas. After attending a new member night and offering to help out, she was soon leading a troop and acting as the SUM for her area.
Looking back at her own experiences, Miller advises new troop leaders to, “Take as much training as you can, read everything, and find a mentor.” She attributes much of her early success to a great mentor she had, which is why she now mentors new leaders in her service unit, Rum River.
Miller currently volunteers as a facilitator, Fast Start Coach, troop leader, Silver and Gold Award mentor to girls, travel mentor to troops, and an active member of numerous Girl Scouts of Minnesota and Wisconsin River Valleys’ committees, including committee chair of Mid-Winter Warm Up adult learning conference.
Her love of helping others learn how to do new things led her to becoming a volunteer facilitator. She likes to share both the successful and challenging experiences she has had with new leaders so they can start Girl Scouting out on the right foot.
Miller’s favorite session to lead is Girls Travel US. She feels that older girls need travel opportunities because the details involved with traveling—planning schedules, talking to new people, and taking care of oneself—shows them that they can do anything.
“When we went on our Switzerland, Germany, and France trip, we left with 15 girls and came back with 15 leaders, their confidence had grown so much over the few weeks we were gone,” she said.
Next up for Miller and her troop is a Costa Rica trip this summer and Italy in 2014.
She also facilitates Leadership Essentials, Beyond the Troop, Take Action, and other sessions as needed. Her favorite things about being a facilitator are meeting new people, gathering fresh ideas, and helping to ensure that girls have an amazing Girl Scouting experience.
“Giving a training session rejuvenates me, I learn so much from the participants,” Miller said, describing her facilitation style as energetic.
In the future, she hopes to become certified in leading advanced outdoor skill adventure courses such as backpacking. In her spare time, Miller enjoys crafting, downhill skiing, camping, and hiking. She also volunteers with the Wildcat Sanctuary in Sandstone, MN.