Girls and boys get a head-start on working in the community

Published: Wednesday, May 29, 2013 at 06:05 PM.

Before you start selling cookies and earning badges, you have to first be a part of a Girl Scout troop. This can prove to be a difficult task in some areas, including South Walton, where troops depend on adult volunteers to lead the way.

"There is a tremendous desire from the girls of South Walton to be Girl Scouts, including my own girls," said Amanda Rhodes, co-leader of Troop 653. "Therefore, I became a leader. The only thing holding more girls back from being a Girl Scout is a lack of leaders."

First-time leaders Rhodes and Alecia Gardner meet weekly with their troop, which is a mixture of Daises (kindergarten to first grade) and Brownies (second grade). The Sun attended one of the Thursday meetings, which fittingly, was about journalism. Each girl was tasked with designing the cover of her own notebook and writing a story.

Much of the artwork and stories were about the dolphin cruise field trip most of the girls had enjoyed that day, but one of the notebooks stood out from the crowd. While drawing her pet fish, named Michael Jackson, Brownie scout, Fiona, explained how the pet got his name.

"I've always liked the name Michael, and then I thought of the singer," she said.

Each week, troops meet for discussions and to work on crafts that emphasize the Girl Scout Promise, which is to serve God and Country, help others at all times and live by the Girl Scout Law. The Law promotes positive characteristics such as: honesty, fairness and being responsible and respectful. These lessons can go a long way in life.

With modern technology taking over kids’ free time, the active nature of Girl Scouts is one reason why parents like to sign their daughters up. The troop has visited Alaqua Animal Rescue, where they presented the organization with donated funds and an original painting in memory of Bucky, a horse that had passed away and was present at a local Homes for Heroes dedication, where they held signs and cheered.

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