Haney loved being a ‘Girl Guide’ in Fiji … now a Brownie leader

Shenaz Haney leads Girl Scout Brownie Troop 6891. (Photo by Karen Michael)

Shenaz Haney was a Girl Guide in the Fiji Islands when she was a schoolgirl. Now she leads her daughter’s Brownie troop and works to register other area girls in Girl Scouts.

“I was in Girl Guides from, I believe, fifth grade up to high school,” said Haney, referring to the foreign version of Girl Scouts.

“I loved everything with it,” she said, listing camping, cooking, new friends and travel as her interests in the Girl Guides.

When it came time for her own daughter to start school, Haney said she told her about how much fun she had as a Girl Guide, and asked her if she would like to start Girl Scouts. Her daughter, now 8, agreed to give it a try.

Now Haney is a Girl Scout leader of Brownie Troop 6891, which has 16 Brownie Scouts. She speaks enthusiastically about gradually getting girls used to camping, first on day trips, later on overnight trips to cabins and eventually to true “roughing it” conditions in tents.

But Haney is just as enthusiastic about a new program for Brownies called Journeys that emphasizes age-appropriate community service.

For instance, Troop 6891 is currently working in conjunction with Northridge Elementary School to collect gently used clothes and toys to send to Galveston and Houston for survivors of Hurricane Ike.

“It’s good for the girls to learn early. It shows them empathy,” said Haney.

Another recent project was making noisemakers for a Frenship High School football game, which Haney said the girls particularly enjoyed. Wherever a need is seen in the community, Haney said she tries to get the girls involved. The girls work particularly closely with the schools, she said, because the schools are very supportive of Girl Scouts.

Haney is originally from the Fiji Islands. She came to visit her brother when he was a student at Texas Tech and decided to stay and make her life here. She married her husband, Mark, while he was stationed at Reese Air Force Base, and they traveled afterward until after the birth of her son in Japan. The couple has since made their home in Lubbock with their children Omar, 14, and Shadiana, 8.

“We liked it, and he’s from Levelland,” said Haney. “The weather is similar in fall and spring” to that in the Fiji Islands.

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