Honored recently for her contributions to Girl Scouts in Bayonne, Hauser also received the outstanding leadership award in 2005.
Maribeth Doria, wife of Mayor Joseph Doria, credited her daughter, Margaret's achievements as a scout brownie to Hauser through programs such as the holiday food drives to lessons in civics through visits to the offices of public officials.
"She (Hauser) has made a positive impact on the lives of Bayonne girls, their families and the great community of Bayonne," Doria said.
Hauser was eight when she first joined the Girl Scouts organization.
A life-time resident of Bayonne, she was drawn in by the fact that her sister and her friends were all involved at St. Andrew's and that her mother knew then scout leader Kay Sullivan.
Scouting then and now has a lot of aspects, but two of the most significant involve learning through the earning of merit badges and gaining experience through trips and camping.
Over the years, she rose through the organization until she became an assistant leader in 1983.
"After that I never stopped," she said
In life outside the scouts - yes there is such a world - Hauser has worked 20 years at the First Savings Bank of New York, and currently serves as the assistant manager at the branch on 6th Street in Bayonne.
Along with her Outstanding Leadership Award, Hauser also was recently recognized as an outstanding volunteer as well, and was awarded a scout pin for her 35 years involvement.
Yet she treasures as much the tribute her own troop gave her recently.
Experience is a big part of scouting
Hauser's troop sometimes takes trips over the Bayonne Bridge to Staten Island or up to places as far away as Danbury, Connecticut to catch the state fair.
One trip took them to Mystic Seaport, Madison Square for a Disney show, a circus at the Meadowlands and plays at Paper Mill Playhouse.
They have gone to Hershey, Pa. for tours or camping from the beaches of Wildwood to Camp Hoover in Middleville.
As if quoting from an old pop song, Hauser said "kids are different today," for a number of reasons, and that many of the kids in her troop are children of former scouts who are carrying on the tradition.
Events are also different, since scouts today do a lot more community service, and civic related events.
Kids may go horse riding and have sleepovers at camp or other places, but they also make visits to city hall to talk with public officials.
"Part of the community service is to collect soda tags for the Ronald McDonald House. We also do a food drive. We also help with the Giving Tree at St. Andrew's Church, collecting hats, scarves and gloves."
The troop is also involved with the Toys for Tots program and collects baby items for Hudson Cradle.
"This year we're going to be involved with Bayonne Helping Hands," Hauser said.
The troop also helps gather and pack things through Bayonne's chapter of Operation Interdependence that sends packages to the military personnel serving around the world.
"Dani Ward (the director of OI) is a former scout," Hauser said.
Community involvement has become a larger focus of scouting in recent years.
"We help girls become better citizens," she said, noting that many of the women in the U.S. Congress started out as girl scouts.
Her scouts are often seen marching the St. Patrick's Day or Memorial Day parades.
Education remains a key part of the scouting experience, so scouts may take trips to Newark Museum, the New Jersey Performing Arts Center or the planetarium at Bayonne High School.
The girls have even learned some history through watching reenactments of the civil war conflicts.
But once in a while, a larger more extensive trip is planned such as the trip to England a few years ago and the upcoming trip to Savannah, Georgia planned for April 2007.
Girls in scouting get to meet and interact with girls from other parts of Bayonne as well as outside the city, and one innovative way of reach out includes a pen pal program.
Badges earned for various activities, Hauser said, become a means of building a girl's self esteem.
"Earning badges is a lot more involved than when I started," she said.
A different world today
But girls have changed in the years since Hauser first entered the program.
"Kids today are more ready for the world," she said. "Some are the children of single parents. Two of the mothers of my girls have died."
Scouting embraces these changes, helping girls to cope and providing them with tools for dealing with some of the problems they face in the world, by providing counseling and programs that give girls ways to say no to drugs and smoking. Some of the programs also deal with cancer care, and help girls deal with issues of cancer victims.
"We have had nurses come in to talk about breast cancer awareness," Hauser said.
The troop meets every other week for an hour and a half.
One of the significant changes over the years, however, has been the struggle to keep up membership faced with increasing competition.
"When I joined we didn't have a lot of other things kids have today," Hauser said.
Hauser said she is always looking for new members.
This is another difference. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, her troop had a waiting list, partly because kids didn't have as much then to do as they do now.
"Now kids can go to cheerleading, volleyball, soccer, softball, peewee football, basketball, and other programs," Hauser said. Some kids are involved in the sco
uts and other programs, and drift back after each season ends; getting kids to be scouts is harder today.
So is finding good leadership. Hauser, of course, said the primary ingredient for good leadership is patience and the desire to be there with the girls.
Yes, girl scouts still raise funds by selling cookies, and fact that is very evident in the Hauser household which often stores up to 300 cases of cookies during the sales, filling the halls and every other inch of available space.
"Years ago we used to sell other things like calendars," Hauser said.
Hauser said if any girl is interested in becoming a scout or adult looking for a leadership position, they can call (201) 437-0833.