Girl Scout Stories

Troop 20961 Bridging Ceremony

Bridging to a new Girl Scout level is an important part of Girl Scouting. We hope you get some ideas and inspiration from Girl Scout Troop 20961’s ceremony.

Content submitted by Nancy Reddy, Troop Secretary

Historic Burdett Manor in Lenoir City was the setting on August 11 where the Girl Scout Council of the Southern Appalachians CEO Booth Kammann, her daughter, and families of Girl Scout Troop 20961 gathered to celebrate a year of great accomplishments.

Troop Leader Victoria McDonald began the event by speaking about how proud she was of the eight scouts who had served as leaders throughout the year, first learning about a particular badge that interested them and then teaching it to the entire troop.

Four girls were then recognized for earning the Cadette Summit Pin by completing all three Cadette Journey programs. The Cadette Summit pin is the second highest award a Cadette Girl Scout can earn. Recipients were Isabel Richter, Sydney Gabrielson, McKenzie Ayers, and MaryAnn Reddy.

Nine girls were recognized for completing the Girl Scout Silver Award, the highest award a Cadette Girl Scout may earn. They are Isabel Richter, Sydney Gabrielson, Savannah McDonald, Taylor Boyer, Juliana Pulsinelli, Natalie Wood, McKenzie Ayers, Allison Campbell, and Haley Smith. The girls divided into three teams to complete three different projects that all came together to become “Serenity Pointe,” an outdoor place for respite and rejuvenation for families and staff at Ronald McDonald House.

Troop 20961 has 20 members, and 10 scouts are Silver Award recipients. Most of the remaining troop members are currently working on their Silver Award. The troop’s leaders passionately promote achievement of the high awards in Girl Scouting, citing the plethora of life and leadership skills these awards they teach and instill in young women.

Following the awards recognition was the bridging ceremony, the time to celebrate scouts moving on to a new level in the scouting program. Troop 20961 has two members who have started high school and have now officially begun their journey as Senior Girl Scouts. They are Isabel Richter and Sydney Gabrielson. Following the awards presentation and Bridging ceremonies families enjoyed a picnic supper coordinated by Jeanette Smith and Tammie Newton. Fathers grilled hamburgers and hot dogs while the event ended with ice cream. It was a very special and momentous evening enjoyed by all.

Photo by Elsie Gabrielson This photo shows the two Senior Girl Scouts of Troop 20961 on the symbolic bridge Pictured (left to right) are Isabel Richter and Sydney Gabrielson

Photo by Elsie Gabrielson This photo shows Troop Leaders with the two Senior Girl Scouts of Troop 20961 Pictured (left to right) are Assistant Troop Leader Christi Wood, Isabel Richter, Sydney Gabrielson and Troop Leader Victoria McDonald

Photo by Julie and Greg Mowris This photo shows the scouts of Troop 20961 with Booth Kammann, CEO of Girl Scouts of the Southern Appalachians. Pictured (left to right) are Kim Newton, Terra Holly, Savannah McDonald, Haley Smith, Juliana Pulsinelli, Lauren Dieterich, Allison Campbell, Taylor Boyer, Katelin Stooksberry, CEO Booth Kammann, McKenzie Ayers, Cassie Stooksberry, Savana Mowris, Natalie Wood, Taylor Aytes, Stephanie Newton, Erin Victorson, Isabel Richter, MaryAnn Reddy and Sydney Gabrielson. Not pictured: Brittney Phillips

Photo by Elsie Gabrielson This photo shows the new Silver Award recipients of Troop 20961 Pictured (left to right) are Haley Smith, Isabel Richter, Savannah McDonald, Juliana Pulsinelli, McKenzie Ayers, Allison Campbell, Natalie Wood, Taylor Boyer and Sydney Gabrielson


Posted in Girl Scout Stories, PR Stars

Way to Go!

Troop 451 from Greendale Elementary participated in Keep America Beautiful’s “Great American Cleanup” and was awarded patches and a certificate for being the troop with the most volunteers for cleanup.The girls collected trash at Sugar Hollow, a local park in Bristol, Virginia.


Posted in Girl Scout Stories, PR Stars

Girl Scout Adventure at Panther Creek State Park

Submitted by Cheryl-Ann Paul, troop leader

On Friday, July 27, 2012, our troop went to Panther Creek State Park and followed a program set up for Girl Scouts there. (It was advertised in the email news letter from the council.)

What a great day we had! The staff are wonderful. Having our own ranger at all times, we all walked in Panther Stream and learned a lot of very useful information about aquatic life. It was so welcoming during this hot summer to be walking in a cool, shady stream.

After a snack, we all congregated at the edge of the Cherokee Reservoir and went canoeing. Once again, the ranger was so very watchful and attentive and gave my girls so much useful information. Then, he paddled them out and had a ‘jolly good ole’ time.

While Wilfred is not always available, he made an unusual appearance for my girls. What excitement this generated! Wilfred is a corn snake and he certainly did put a highlight to a most fantastic day. Troop 20959 takes their caps off to ‘Ranger Jason’ whom was kind, understanding, and patient at all times with my girls. He is a “Ranger Extraordinaire.”

Council Note: To schedule your Panther Creek Adventure, phone the park at (423) 587-7046 and ask for Ranger Jason Chadwell.


Posted in Girl Scout Stories, PR Stars

Local Troop Joins the Great Girl Scout Hike

Girl Scout Troop 20628, Daisies through Juniors, participated in the Great Girl Scout Hike on May 20, 2012.  Everyone had a fantastic time visiting Clingman’s Dome and hiking the part of the Tennessee section of the Appalachian Trail. Girls had lots of fun at Clingman’s Dome with one foot in North Carolina and one foot in Tennessee.


Posted in Girl Scout Stories, PR Stars

PR Stars: Troop Works with TN Izaak Walton League

Submitted by Troop Leader Nancy Watson

Ambassador Girl Scout Troop 20130 members Aimen Ali, Julia Dmowska, Katherine Sumarriva, and Alyssa Watson have worked with the Tennesee Izaak Walton League (TN IWL) to offer a new, free, year-long series of nature programs for the public. Troop member Emma Barnes worked in the initial planning stages and occasionally assisted with an event, but had school-year time constraints.

The girls had worked with TN IWL several years ago to make signs, benches, and educational displays for the Turkey Creek Wetland Park Natural Area. Mark Campen, executive director, contacted them last spring to see if they were interested in internships to help develop a new outdoor education program.

Just after school was out in 2010, the girls enthusiastically began to dream up a series of outdoor programs. They decided they would plan, publish, and assist with the events, and the Tennessee Izaak Walton League naturalists would provide the expertise for the main program. Since the series of programs was new for the TN IWL, the whole format, subject matter, methods of publicizing, and every other detail had to be decided.

Their first event with four naturalists leading short programs was in August 2010 and everyone arrived at the park in a light rain. Many of the girls’ teen friends had turned out to help with the event, but only five other people came out in the drizzle to attend. The decision was made to proceed with the stream sampling and nature walks despite the weather. At the end of the event, many of the volunteers commented on how much fun the stream sampling was, and the girls wanted to plan another stream event and hope for better weather.

The second stream program was in early October 2010, and this time the day was beautiful with an excellent turnout. TN IWL’s Nelson Ross began the program with a survey of macro invertebrates to catch everyone’s interest and educate them on the basics of stream ecology. Knox County storm water professional Parci Gibson concluded with a talk about how we can keep our streams clean.

In addition, they’ve offered a program about seeds and a program about planting for wildlife program in Turkey Creek Wetland, a series of three seasonal nature walks at TVA’s Hickory Bend Land, an early spring nature walk at William Hastie Natural Area, a tree-planting program at Episcopal School of Knoxville, and a program to build bluebird houses.

Mark Campen, says of the program, “We are always excited and grateful to have volunteers from schools, Scouts, churches and any other civic groups that want to help us carry out part of mission, which is to provide conservation education opportunities to the public.” Alyssa Watson, teen volunteer, says “I feel like we are doing something important when we teach adults and kids about the environment.”

In addition to the TN IWL programs, the girls have taken what they have learned on this project and presented nature games and educational crafts at West Knox Service Unit encampment and Second Saturday at The Cove.

Posted in Girl Scout Stories, PR Stars

PR Stars: Girl Scouts Build Bluebird Houses


Girl Scout Cadette Troop 20384 with leaders Elisha Perez and Carla Gunderson worked with the Lions Club to build and mount bluebird houses for a Loudon City Park.

LionGerry Knepp assisted the girls in his Tellico Village workshop as they built the bluebird houses. He showed them how to use the tools and explained that by using cedar the houses would last longer.

”This was a great experience in collaboration between several community minded organizations, and it benefited the environment!” Said Gail Yook, the region’s service unit manager for troops. “The Parks and Recreation Department was very appreciative. The girls learned facts about bluebirds, they experienced using woodworking tools, and they completed a community service project.”

Posted in Girl Scout Stories, PR Stars

PR Stars: Living History

Greene County Girl Scouts gathered at the Andrew Johnson National Historic Site in Greeneville to celebrate National Park Week and the park service’s Junior Ranger Day on Saturday, April 23. The girls earned their Junior Ranger Patch (offered one day per year) and their age level Walk With a President Badge. (This Girl Scout badge was developed by Troop 214 in association with the National Park Service.)

Girls from Troop 214 hosted the event in Victorian-era clothing. Activities included a tour of the park sites, learning about life in the 1860s, a sewing project, games and songs from the time period, learning about park service careers, and more.

The Girls attending also received five hours of credit toward the National Park Service Girl Scout Resource Patch, which requires 10 total hours in a national park.


Posted in Girl Scout Stories, PR Stars