Girl Scout Stories

Troop Visits Historic Poe’s Tavern

Did you know the first government in Hamilton County was established in Soddy Daisy at Poe’s Tavern? The City of Soddy Daisy raised money to finance building a replica of the historic tavern next to City Hall and a wooden play ground called Scramble Alley over the past two years Girls from Troop 40212 were given tavern tour and learned about the history of their local town from Soddy Daisy Commissioner (and former mayor) Jim Adams. Girls also spent time enjoying Scramble Alley.

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Girl Scouts enjoy luau and Polynesian dancing

Submitted by Troop Leader Lee Merrill

When you hear the word “luau,” Benton, Tennessee, probably doesn’t come to mind.  But when native Samoans from all over the country converge on this little town for a family reunion, that is exactly what you get: a luau!

Benton United Methodist Church hosted the event, and the girls of Troop 40449 volunteered to keep the luau clean and litter-free.

But it wasn’t all work. The girls enjoyed great Polynesian food and dancing.

The troop thanks our own Teppa and “Aunt Lizzie”(who flew in from California) and the rest of the family for allowing us to share this fantastic day with them. They saw dances representing cultures across the Pacific, from Hawaiian and American Samoan to the Maori in New Zealand. The girls knew they would be asked to participate, and spent two months perfecting their moves.

The girls preparing to pick up trash

Great food

Dancing with the ladies of Benton United Methodist Church

No one told us we had to wear grass skirts!

It's not all wahinis (girls) and grass skirts!

The family

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Girls deliver more than cookies to hospitals

Submitted by Constance Washington

As part of their Bronze Award project, Alaina Washington, Autumn Reynolds, and Sanaa Hicks of Troop 40182 prepared sandwiches and other food for the families in the Intensive Care Unit waiting rooms at the Erlanger Hospital and the Children’s Hospital at Erlanger.

When the girls arrived at each hospital’s ICU waiting room, they talked with the families about their project, sang grace, and invited the people to enjoy the meal that was prepared for them. Of course the food included fruit slices from the Fall product sale and Girl Scout cookies.

Although some of the people thanked the girls for their efforts, one person in particular sent an open thank you note to the girls through the on-line newspaper “The Chattanoogan.com” expressing his gratitude for what they did that Saturday. It reinforced what the girls learned that day about the impact of helping others.

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Geocashing troop finds fun

Submitted by Lee Merrell

Troop 40449 of Benton, Tennessee, spent a beautiful spring day exploring their area while geocaching.  They found 11 actual caches and two virtual ones, learning more about their “neighborhood” and about what makes this area special. Some girls had never been to some of the places we visited, even though they live only a few miles away.

Some of the caches were full of goodies– others full of water. Our girls cleaned and dried the wet caches, leaving them “better than they found them” in true Girl Scout spirit.

While they enjoyed seeing what others had left, and occasionally trading an item, one of the girls said she liked the little items (too small to hold trade items) best, because “the best part is hunting for them.”

Every cache large enough to hold it got a mini first aid kit the girls had prepared.

The girls recommend geocaching to anyone who hasn’t tried it.  There are caches literally everywhere, and it’s a great way to “discover” your own neighborhood.  WARNING: geocaching is addictive, and may be good for your health!

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West Knox Service Unit Celebrates World Thinking Day

Submitted by: Nancy Reddy
Secretary, Girl Scout Troop 20961

The West Knoxville Service Unit event to celebrate World Thinking Day for Girl Guides and Girl Scouts was hosted on February 23, 2013, by 10 third year Cadette and Senior Girl Scouts from Troop 20961 at the Webb School of Knoxville. Taylor Boyer served as Scout Leader for the event.

This year’s event had two themes. The service unit theme celebrated 100 amazing women who lived during the 100 years of Girl Scouting. Each troop prepared a booth and selected a heroine represented in costume. Heroines were introduced by Savannah McDonald during the opening ceremonies. Troop 28001 performed the opening flag ceremony. Host scouts of Troop 20961 retired the flag at the event’s conclusion following a huge friendship circle where scouts sang 6 verses of “Make New Friends”. Scouts attending earned the 2013 GSUSA Thinking Day Award.

The second theme revolved around the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts goals focusing on decreasing infant mortality and increasing prenatal care for mothers.Troop 20961 provided booths featuring the five focus countries: the Republic of Ireland, Pakistan, Venezuela, Jordan and Malawi. By visiting these 5 optional booths scouts earned the WAGGGS 2013 Thinking Day badge and pins.

Troop 20961 scouts hosting this event were Taylor Boyer, Savannah McDonald, Isabel Richter, McKenzie Ayers, Juliana Pulsinelli, Haley Smith, Natalie Wood, MaryAnn Reddy, Stephanie Newton and Kimberly Newton. Troop 20961’s 2nd year Cadettes providing support assistance during the event were Lauren Dieterich and Savana Mowris.

Click on an image below to see a slide show of the event. Directly below each photo you will see a caption with the troop number and the heroine they represented.

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From Parts Unknown to What Is Possible

Submitted by Debby Schriver

Girl Scouts visit Cuernavaca, Mexico

We were gone just nine days. Seven Girl Scouts and four adult leaders (including my 27-year old daughter) — we carried bags filled with uniforms, swaps, and journals. As we waved goodbye to our families, we felt excitement and a little uneasiness about what lay ahead. We really didn’t even know each other very well. We were from rural areas, small towns, and larger cities. A few of us had travelled to other parts of the world. Three of us had never been on an airplane. None of us is extremely fluent in Spanish. But off we went to Cuernavaca, Mexico, to visit Nuestra Cabaña, one of four WAGGS (World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts) world centers.

If you are a parent, you know the thrill of experiencing “firsts” through the eyes of your child. If you are a teenaged Girl Scout, you know how it feels to take your first real step into independence and to feel confident, self-assured, and be propelled forward. Growing up doesn’t follow a straight path. The side trips, stops, and even backtracking can be the most memorable and enlightening parts of the journey. Our trip to Mexico included all this and more.

Stepping for the first time into a foreign country grabs all our senses, and Mexico City filled us with sights, sounds, and new rhythms. Streets were narrow, traffic was fast, and we strained to recognize Spanish words rapidly flowing in the conversations around us. As our bus travelled through the city, into the countryside, and past little towns, we each fell silent, absorbing the reality of the moment – miles away from our homes and all that is familiar. We saw bright colored clothes on lines waving with the wind, roadside markets, churches, people young and old, dogs, horses, and fields of haystacks – each offering glimpses of everyday life that seemed at once different but recognizable. Upon our arrival at Cuernavaca, the great Chief’s door of Nuestra Cabaña swung open, smiles and greetings closed the language gap, and we were at the place we would call “home” for the rest of our trip.

The following days held us in a kind of insulated time capsule where we learned that what really matters is in every present moment of awareness, action, and reaction. Living for the first time in close quarters with other girls, we discovered that the balance between our own needs and those of others requires direct communication, patience, trust, and understanding. Daily responsibilities for chores, opening ceremonies, and activities taught us self-reliance and teamwork. We explored villages, markets, and saw the wondrous gifts from the earth when we picked lemons for lemonade each evening. We became self- conscious of the resources we take for granted — the value of clean water and plentiful food. We explored violence against women, and in a very real sense began to understand the enormity of our power as girls and young women throughout the world. Community service activities taught us that human beings find powerful connections simply in laughter and fun.

We made crafts, danced, and broke the piñata. From Sweden, Mexico, Bolivia, Columbia, the United Kingdom, Switzerland, and the USA, we greeted the New Year with awe, and as the fireworks blazed in the skies above us, we felt united. On the final night we sat under the stars and sang as the flames of our bonfire reached to the sky. I looked at my daughter and saw her flash from Daisy Girl Scout to an adult mentor. We were changed. I saw girls who learned that they can reach goals that seem insurmountable. I saw girls who learned ways to be with others whose personalities did not appear to be compatible. I saw girls learn how to solve problems and to express themselves honestly with respect for one another. Atop a high Aztec pyramid I saw girls marveling at the people of our past and understanding their connections with the future.

On the final morning when we met at the great Chief’s door, we cried as we said our goodbyes. Our bags were packed with new swaps, mementos, and gifts for our families, but the real souvenirs are more lasting than silver, photographs, or sombreros. Seven Girl Scouts and four adult leaders know that they can make a significant difference in our world. And all this they learned in just nine days.

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Troop distributes thousands of books

Members of Troop 40508 shared their love of reading by walking with the Readmoble in Chattanooga’s Christmas parade and handing out about 3,500 children’s books! Read 20, a Chattanooga literacy group, sponsors the Readmobile.

Posted in Girl Scout Stories, PR Stars

Union Cookie Story

What Can a Cookie Do?

Submitted by: Troop Leader Shannon Wilson, Troop 21086

What can a cookie do? That question was the theme of our cookie sale last year. Here’s the story of what our cookies did. Our troop of nine girls sold about about 7,000 boxes of cookies. We sold to everyone we knew and a lot of people we didn’t. We worked every cookie booth we possibly could, even when it rained and snowed and was freezing cold (and we were tired and grumpy). And we did it. We reached our fundraising goal…and then we spent every penny we made.

Part of the money went toward community service projects for our local humane society and Children’s Advocacy Center. The animals got lots of toys, blankets, and supplies. Our local libraries got a brochure that taught kids about how to choose and care for a new pet. The Children’s Center got some new planters and flowers for outside to help “cheer it up” a little bit. We learned about how the humane society and the Children’s Center help our community, and we learned that we feel great when we help others!
 

The rest of the money was spent in Washington, D.C., where we joined the largest gathering of Girl Scouts in history to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Girl Scouting. Every girl from our troop went, and we spent five days and four nights in our nation’s capital. The girls planned it all. We looked at guide books and chose what we wanted to see. When we wanted to see everything, we voted and narrowed down the list to one that we could actually complete in five days. We wrote to a congresswoman from west Tennessee and asked if we could meet her while we were there, and came up with questions to ask her. We talked about what to eat and where to stay, and how to do it all for less money. We figured out how to do it for $250 per person! The Girl Scouts didn’t have to pay anything, though, because the proceeds from the cookie sale covered all of our costs.

We rode the MegaBus to get there and back, and stayed in a hotel with kitchens so we could cook our own meals. We packed lunches and had picnics every day, and we drank a lot of water (it was healthier and saved money). We went to the White House, the Washington Monument, the Vietnam Memorial, Arlington National Cemetery, the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History, the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum, and the National Zoo. We went to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and watched the Changing of the Guard Ceremony. We rode the Metro everywhere and took a bus once, too. We got really good at reading the maps. We met Girl Scouts from 27 other states and even some from another country! We learned a bunch of new Girl Scout songs. We took a dinner cruise around the edge of Washington to see the city from the water. There was a dance party on the ship and some really great food!

We all got to meet with Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn, too. We saw her office – and from there – walked through an underground tunnel to another building where we got to see the room where the Energy Committee meets and makes decisions for our country. We got to interview Congresswoman Blackburn and ask her all of our questions. She went to college on a 4-H scholarship! While we were there, we also got to meet a Capitol Police Department female officer, who talked with us about her job and about how important it is to stay in school and out of trouble.

Girl Scouts at the White House

At Arlington National Cemetery

Girl Scouts at Lincoln Memorial

Amelia Earhart's Plane

Mock Oval Office

Girl Scouts on a Cruise

A lot of us had never been outside of Tennessee before. Or ridden on a bus. Or stayed in a hotel. Or been on a boat. None of us had ever seen anything like what we saw in the museums or at the monuments. A lot of our parents came on our trip, too – they said they probably would never have the chance to go again for just $250. Without Girl Scouting and the cookie sale, we’re pretty sure none of us would have been able to go!

Girl Scouts meet Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn

During our trip, we earned the Inside Government Badge, the Digital Photography Badge, the Savvy Shopper Badge and parts of several others. Even more importantly, though, we learned about our country and its history. We got to see our nation’s capital. We got to talk to women who are incredible role models for us. We learned that, as Girl Scouts, we are part of something powerful and important and global. We learned that women and girls can – and do – make a difference in our world. We learned about how to make a budget, and how to use financial resources wisely. We learned how to set a goal, and how to work for that goal until we achieve it. We learned that it’s worth it to stick with something, even when it’s hard and we’re tired, because in the end the reward is worth the effort.

Girl Scout Cookies did that for us. That’s a pretty powerful cookie…..

Posted in Girl Scout Stories, PR Stars

Troop Creates Gingerbread Girl Scout Camp

Troop 20628 turned a popular area at Camp Tanasi into a fantastic gingerbread village for East Tennessee Children’s Hospital’s Fantasy of Trees. The girls recreated Echo Cove, complete with its three cabins and fire ring. Thousands of visitors admired the girls’ creativity at the Thanksgiving weekend event in Knoxville.

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Council Girl Scouts have global impact; inspire others at home

People all across the globe will benefit from the hard work of Gatlinburg Girl Scouts Mason Green and Kestrel Troutman.To celebrate Girl Scouting’s 100th anniversary, the girls helped collect more than 100 pairs of shoes and 100 pounds of clothing, and then drove 100 miles to donate the items to the Nashville-based Soles4Souls/Clothes4Souls—a charity serving more than 125 nations.

Mason and Kestrel toured the facility and helped get their shoe delivery ready for distribution. They far exceeded their foal of collecting 100 pairs of shoes by collecting 262. Our founder would be proud!

Looking for a service project? Learn about Soles4Souls.


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