Finding family in Girl Scouts

Gretchen CrawleyKarns/Hardin Valley, Our Town Youth

When Renee Coffman and her family moved to Hardin Valley in 2017, starting a Girl Scout troop in a new town wasn’t part of the plan. Four years later, though, Coffman said it is “the best thing that’s happened” to them.

Coffman is an administrator of Girl Scouts troop 22046 in Hardin Valley. The troop has grown to include 18 Girl Scouts, ranging from Daises (kindergarten and first grade) to Cadettes (sixth through eighth grade).

“We got into Girl Scouts to meet new people and get involved in the community,” Coffman said. “Now, our troop is like a little family that I’m not sure what we’d do without.”

The girls are active in the community. They stock “blessing boxes” with food donations, craft decorations for local assisted living facilities and enjoy the outdoors of East Tennessee. But their favorite activity is spending time together as the blended Girl Scout family they’ve become.

“My family and others like mine tend to not have as close of connections as others who have grown up here,” Coffman said. “Girl Scouts has changed that. Our troop loves spending time together. They always say hello in the school hallways, take 10 minutes at every meeting to check in with one another and even suggested a monthly social.”

When girls join a troop, the impact goes beyond the Girl Scouts. Coffman has seen Hardin Valley become a better community, thanks to troop 22046.

“Girl Scouts learn to lead, take responsibility, love others, help those in need, reach their goals and truly change the world,” Coffman said. “And it all starts with the troop in their hometown.”

Girl Scouts always is accepting new members. Learn more about the Girl Scouts of Southern Appalachians at, and find a troop by texting the word “JOIN” to 59618 or sending an email to [email protected].

Members of Girl Scouts and their families also are invited to explore Camp Tanasi at Winterfest on Saturday, Dec. 4. Attendees will meet the summer camp director, make a winter craft, enjoy a s’more and hot cocoa, and take a hike around camp. It is a great event for families considering summer camp and is only 45 minutes from Hardin Valley. Register at under the Activities page.

Gretchen Crawley is VP of communications for Girl Scouts of Southern Appalachians. 

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