of Bozeman, MT
Nominated by: Margrit Firehammer
As a girl, Kathy only was a Brownie in Laurel, MT, for a year or two.
However, once her older daughter, Sheila, reached Brownie age, Kathy became a VERY involved Adult Girl Scout – and still is!
1977 – 1980 she was the Leader/Co-leader for Sheila’s Brownie/Junior Troop.
1980/1981 Gary Harkin, Kathy’s husband, was on sabbatical from MSU, and the family moved temporarily out of town. Meanwhile her 6th grade Junior joined my troop for the year. I still remember all the good ideas these girls had and how they kept telling me, “With Kathy we did this. – Kathy did it that way. – Kathy let us do ….” They had so many good memories from previous years!
Fall of 1981, the Harkins were back in town and younger daughter Shannon was a 2nd grade Brownie.
From that point on, Kathy was a Leader/Co-leader all the way through until Shannon and her troop-mates graduated from high school + a couple more years to see some of the younger girls all the way to graduation. A couple of those girls, Mary Black and Kori Curry, now are active Leaders in the Bozeman Service Unit.
Grown-up daughters were no reason for Kathy to quit Girl Scouts. She stayed involved as Service Unit Cookie Chair, Day Camp Leader, and active member of the Bozeman Service Team.
In the spring of 2000, Kathy became the grandma of a girl, to be followed a couple years later by a set of twin girls. There was a Brownie Troop available for the older granddaughter, but in 2007, the twins’ Daisy Troop needed help. Kathy volunteered and still is the Co-Leader of the now 4th grade Junior Troop. Laura Asbell still thanks me periodically for suggesting Kathy to her!
By 2010, the older granddaughter’s Junior Troop also needed help – and Grandma Kathy jumped in! This now 5th grade troop would not exist without Kathy. She has organized outdoor activities in her spacious back yard, took the girls to Anniversary Events in Helena and Cody, and – most of all – genuinly cares for the girls.
Kathy does not care much for big meetings and, therefore, may not be well-known in the Service Unit or the Council. However, there are many good things that happened and many people who are still in Girl Scouts due to Kathy’s behind-the-scene involvement. Also, there are few moms, let alone grandmas, who work not just with one but two troops, and this after 30+ years of volunteering.