Ceremonies, Traditions, & Awards

Guest Editorial: The Agents of Change in Troop 11108

I have been involved with Girl Scouts for over 50 years. First as a Girl Scout, then as a co-leader of my daughter’s troop and now as co-leader of my grand daughter’s troop with Leaders Kimberly Vaculik (my daughter) and Jen Mentzer.

Troop 11108 is an amazing group of curious, smart, and community caring young ladies.

Their first year as Juniors, they knew they wanted to pursue their Bronze Award. To achieve that goal, we spent several months working on their Agent of Change Journey. They looked at their skills and voted on badges that helped them learn more about each other’s talents, like the art and music badges. They each picked a famous woman who changed history and presented their reports. We learned about women including space explorers, pilots, physicians, writers, and scholars.

What our girls took away was that these women had to fight and persevere to achieve their goals, and they also can achieve anything through determination and hard work.

They then worked in 3 groups to identify a community issue. After researching the problem, they reported on it and gave input on how they could make a difference.

Our girls always do a community outreach at Christmas, and this last year they collected items to donate to a local Personal Needs Pantry. The speaker (coordinator) from this organization came in and explained how she addressed a community need and rallied several area churches to help support this outreach. They help over 500 needy families with items they cannot afford and which food stamps doesn’t cover, such as toilet paper, toothpaste, deodorant, laundry soap, bar soap, shampoo, shaving items, lotion, etc. It is fully run by volunteers and is always in need of donations. She was thrilled with the 70 items our girls gave her at that meeting.

Our girls have now picked their Bronze Award project. They have decided to put together gallon bags that will include personal needs items specifically for children. They will include children’s toothpaste, toothbrushes, shampoo, conditioner, soap, floss, hairbrush and a small toy. They felt these bags will make the children feel special and it shows the recipients that other young people care about them.

They had a meeting last week where they divided up community businesses to approach for donations. Next month we will meet to sort everything and start assembling the bags. Our girls are very excited about the opportunity to make another child feel appreciated through their project.

Our girls are also planning their own year. They want to learn many more skills while earning more badges and patches. As leaders, we have seen these girls grow and blossom as they find their strengths through this group. Girl Scouts will certainly leave a lasting impact upon these young ladies!

Pamela Beavers is a troop assistant with Troop 11108.

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