|The ĎGo-To Galí in Scouting RPís Barbara Novak has 40 years and counting
This year, Girl Scouts are calling it “Cookies on Demand.” No more simply taking orders for later delivery, they’ve scheduled a “Walkabout Weekend” for Feb. 19-20, Saturday and Sunday, in the Rohnert Park, Cotati and Penngrove area. The girls will earn patches for their merit badge sashes for this door-to-door campaign.
For this kind of campaign you need a “go-to” leader to pull it all together and Rohnert Park’s Barbara Novak rightfully has this assignment. She’s been in Girl Scouting practically all her life. Born and raised in San Francisco, the former Barbara D’Lucchi was a scout leader when she and her husband, Ed, were living in Daly City and hasn’t left since.
Forming a new troop
She lives in a traditional RP home on Barbi Lane she and her late husband (he passed away nine years ago) have owned for nearly a half-century, filled with scouting memorabilia and photos. Barbara picked up right where she left off and organized a new troop for RP when it was part of the Petaluma area.
“That’s because we got too big and had to form a separate Rohnert Park and Cotati troop. That was 40 years ago and we’re setting up a special celebration in June this year,” she said over coffee and Girl Scout cookies in their living room.
“We were called Konocti Girl Scouts back then, but now we’re Girl Scouts of Northern California and our territory runs from San Mateo north to the Oregon border. My job involves a lot of traveling. “I train Girl Scout leaders and older girl members, bring them up to date with new material. I was sent to Arizona for advanced training techniques earlier this year.”
Girl Scouting is worldwide these days. “We’ve been working with NASA in a program to emphasize the values in learning math and science to become engineers in their space program. This has meant trips to Maryland to work with NASA.
Honoring 100 years
“But more than that, 11 of us leaders went to Titchfield in England just this last August for a celebration with other leaders honoring 100 years of Girl Scouting. We spent days traveling the country and holding conferences and receptions.
Next year, there’ll be a bigger celebration honoring the hundredth year of Girl Scouting in America. It’ll be our ‘Blast from the Past’ from coast to coast.”
Finding their home
Barbara, 76, and Ed got acquainted with Sonoma County while visiting Ed’s parents at their summer cottage in Monte Rio. They decided to move here and settled in the new city of Rohnert Park. Both Barbara and Ed (he was a former Scoutmaster) found it ideal. They moved here in 1971. They’ve raised four children here, sons, Ron, Philip, Tom and daughter, Janet, now deceased.
“For our one-hundredth anniversary next year, we’re planning to plant one hundred trees in the city and do a lot more. As I see it, you’ve just got to keep busy. Right now, our main focus is the ‘Cookies on Demand’ campaign.”