Hometown Heroes: Stacy Duffy leads Girl Scouts down the right path

Stacy Duffy, center, watches as daughter, Madison, left, and Cynthia Pelletier set up the cookie table in front of Walmart on Sunday.

Stacy Duffy, center, watches as daughter, Madison, left, and Cynthia Pelletier set up the cookie table in front of Walmart on Sunday. GEOFF FORESTER / Monitor staff

By RAY DUCKLER

Monitor staff

Published: 03-04-2024 5:17 PM

You might have seen some of Stacy Duffy’s Girl Scouts standing in front of grocery and convenience stores in recent days, selling those yummy cookies like Do-Si-Dos, Tagalongs and Samoas.

She runs Troop 10162, and her lineup of girls has fanned out as part of the Girl Scouts of the USA’s annual campaign, a fundraiser that adds money to the program’s account and pounds to the area’s cookie monsters.

Duffy has been a scout leader for nine years, basically guiding her daughter, Madison, through her entire experience. Her girls are now in ninth grade, and Duffy said she’ll see them through until they age out and her daughter leaves the program in three years.

Meanwhile, Alana Kimball, whose daughter, Caia Kimball, is in the troop, thought enough of the decade-long impact that Duffy has had on young girls to nominate her as a Monitor Hometown Hero.

The entire roster as well as the coach share the award. And, as sometimes happens on Oscar Night, Duffy accepted the award for the entire team: Madison, Caia, Elizabeth Thompson, Abby Poole, Cyndi Pelletier and Ryley Chipman.

The girls earn Bronze, Silver and Gold Medals – the last of which is the equivalent of Eagle Scout status for Boy Scouts – through their skills displayed in course-work like math and science, their ability to adapt to outdoor challenges, and large-scale service projects showing leadership and involving service hours.

“They are trying to come up with ideas,” Duffy said.

She’s 46, a native of New Durham and a graduate of Kingswood Regional High School. 

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Her older sister was a Girl Scout, but Duffy, laughing, said their mother “told me it wasn’t around anymore when I got old enough. I don’t know why she did that.”

Her kids, though, both students at Concord High School, are involved. Madison has her sights set on a Gold Medal and Duffy’s son, Jackson, made Eagle Scout two years ago.

“He loves it,” she said.

Her girls have been busy lately and, in fact, are often seen doing for others, part of the inner core they develop through Girl Scouts.

They’ve made friendship benches and renovated hiking trails at Shaker Road School; made birthday and holiday cards for the residents at Hillsboro House during the pandemic; cleaned up a community garden at Hillsboro-Deering Elementary School for outdoor classes; raised money to buy agility equipment for the Concord Dog Park; assisted in expanding a section of the Pittsfield Public Library; and made blankets for Shaker Road School students after classes were moved outdoors because of COVID.

Future plans include marking a trail at Shaker Road, and building benches and resting stations at the Pope Memorial SPCA shelter.

“These girls have contributed to the greater Concord community through their higher award projects and other troop initiatives,” Alana Kimball wrote in her nominating email.

Elsewhere, Duffy’s girls have camped and learned to start fires, tie knots and make something called a buddy burner, converting a cardboard box into a mini oven.

“They did a little bit of everything,” Duffy said.

Troop 10162 meets once each month to plan projects and review requirements to earn badges. The girls in Duffy’s group have grown up together, beginning their scouting experiences in grade school.

“Yes, there’s chemistry there,” Duffy said. “They don’t have to all hang out as a group when they’re not in Girl Scouts, but they’re there for each other. If something happens in their personal lives, they will support each other and call each other.”