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I am a Hudson Valley Parent: Anna Mueller

A girl scouting mom

anna mueller hudson valley girl scouts

As a child, Anna Mueller’s life was constantly in motion. A large family adopted her when she was three months old. Her adopted father was a priest and a missionary, so the family was always on the move, settling down in small communities. Wherever they went, Mueller stuck out, and not just because she was always “the new girl.”

“I came from a biracial family,” she explained. “My biological father was black, my biological mother was white, and I was adopted into a completely white family. Everywhere we moved, there were no other kids of any kind of color there.” But no matter where they lived, there was always a place where Mueller fit in: The Girl Scouts. “The Girl Scouts gave me a comforting feeling, and I knew that I would always be accepted by them no matter where I went.”

adopting a child hudson valley

Today Mueller lives on the outskirts of Newburgh and works mostly from home, customizing electronic medical records systems for hospitals and doctors in the Hudson Valley. When her daughter Michaela, who turns nine in April, was first old enough to join the Girl Scouts, Mueller knew she wanted to do more than simply register sign her daughter for the scouts and then sit back.

“A friend of mine and I were trying to get our daughters signed up for other troops. But everyone runs her troop differently and we figured that we wanted to be really involved with our daughters, so why not just start our own troop?”

Educational adventures

Two years ago, Mueller and her friend co-founded Brownie Troop 60016. The girls are 8 and 9 years old. As the troop begins its third year, Mueller says she enjoys the experience of watching the girls grow over time and seeing how excited they get about all of the opportunities being in scouts affords them. So far these opportunities have included camping trips, going down to New York City to see The Rockettes, and an overnight stay at the Maritime Museum in Kingston. “We’ve been able to enrich their lives in a fun way, with some great educational experiences,” she said.

mom starts business hudson valley

It’s also taught Mueller the value of patience, as being a troop co-leader means dealing with multiple children, multiple personalities and multiple skill sets. Some girls may grasp certain activities quicker than the others, which can lead to frustration. In those cases, Mueller has found that being patient and nurturing is what pays off in the long run. In turn, it’s changed how Mueller parents at home when it’s just her and Michela.

“Sometimes I’ll ask myself, ‘How would I treat one of the Girl Scouts as opposed to my own daughter?’” she said. “I’ve never punished her or grounded her, because she’s never needed it. But I ask myself ‘What if this wasn’t my daughter, would I still react the same way?’ You can be a lot lighter with your own children when you know it works with others. And that’s helpful on those mornings when she says ‘I have a hair out of place’ or ‘I don’t like these pants,’ and you want to scream ‘You’ve got to get to school in five minutes! The bus is coming!’”

when to lead your kids

Growing the home

Mueller’s own upbringing may have been unconventional, but she’s thankful for the amazing life she’s had and is looking forward to giving another child that same opportunity. Even while growing up, she thought it would be wonderful to someday adopt a child, just as she was. After her first child, Mueller discovered that she would not be able to have another one. When she broached the subject of adoption with her husband, she found that he was completely on board with it. He wasn’t the only one.

“My daughter is like ‘When am I getting my baby brother?’” said Mueller. “We’re looking into adopting a boy between the ages of 6 and 8. She said he has to be younger than her because she doesn’t want an older brother.”

 i am a hudson valley parent

Brian PJ Cronin is a freelance writer. His work appears throughout the Hudson Valley.

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