Payson resident Marcia Olsen has touched the lives of hundreds of Payson girls. That's because for the past 20 years, she has been a Girl Scout leader.
With the start of this school year, Olsen is in her 20th year of leading Scout troops. And she loves it. "Scouting helps teach girls self-respect, how to get along with others and solve their own problems," Olsen said.
The somewhat quiet, warm and fuzzy, Olsen is like a kid magnet. She organizes several activities for the girls including cookie drives, weekend camps and weekly meetings and activities. She currently leads a troop at Payson Elementary School, with the help of her now-grown daughters, who were Girl Scouts in her troop when they were younger.
Olsen and her husband moved to Payson about 30 years ago from the Valley. It was here they raised their three children, two of whom still live in Payson.
Olsen said scouting offers her a chance to do more than just play games and lead activities. "I do more than just work with girls, I also get to work with and help parents in relating to their daughters, and help them to succeed," she said.
"I love scouting because I have been able to give back to the community and help girls try and reach their goals," she said.
She said it's fun when she runs into a young woman who was in one of her troops years ago and they recognize her.
Olsen said she's thrilled there are still a lot of elementary school age girls in Scouts, but worries that there are fewer older girls in Scouts now than when her children were little.
She hopes to raise awareness of Scouts, and the importance it offers teenage girls.
"Scouting helps girls in so many ways," she said.
Olsen loves children enough that for the past 16 years she has also been working as a day-care attendant at the Community Presbyterian Child Learning Center.
Name: Marcia Olsen
Occupation: Day Care Attendant
Birthplace: Marion, Ohio
Time in Payson: 30 years
Family: Husband, Larry; two daughters and one son; three grandchildren.
Personal motto: Live life to its fullest.
Person you'd most like to meet: My grandfather, because my mother has told stories of how special he was.
Dream vacation spot: Alaska
Luxury defined: Travel the entire United States.
Why Payson? I came here to be near family. It's a small community, little hustle and bustle.