Girl Scouts

Girl Scouts

Experience Personal Growth While Learning and Having Fun

BY LAVERNE STEVENS

Girl Scouts is the largest girl-serving organization in the country. Girl Scouts are in every U.S. Zip code and 90 countries. Girls in grades K-12 are welcome, as well as adult volunteers. Each troop requires an adult Troop Leader and an adult Assistant Troop Leader. Two adults must be present at every meeting. In Polk County, 4,007 girls are registered Girl Scouts along with 1,120 adult volunteers. Girl Scouting provides meeting activities that allow a girl to grow in self-esteem, learn leadership skills, and make lasting friendships. Planning skills are developed as the girls participate in community service projects. Travel experiences gained on “year-end trips” broaden their world as they learn of new places where other people live. When a girl scout completes the program, she is a well-rounded, well informed, self-confident young lady.

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Marva Louisville of Winter Haven, has been involved with Scouting for 13 years. This was her last year as a Troop Leader as she has accepted a position on the Board of Directors of Girl Scouts of West Central Florida. You cannot be a Troop Leader and be a Board Member at the same time. She worked with Polk County Troop 387 which was known as a Senior Ambassador Troop. Her assistant leaders have been Stephanie Greene and, most recently, Carol Dean. There were 11 girls in the troop with most of them in High School. Scouts meet during the school year. A big event toward which they work is the year end trip. This year, the trip will be a short cruise to the Bahamas.

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Troop 387 member Meredith Louisville earned her Girl Scout Gold Award this past year. This is the highest achievement in Girl Scouting. This young lady demonstrated extraordinary leadership through a remarkable “take action” project that will have a sustainable impact on the community. Her project consisted of the construction of a “Math Outdoor Classroom” at All Saints’ Academy. She presented her plans to the Girl Scout Council, All Saints Academy and the Polk County School Board. Her goal was to reach students who don’t like to study math. She felt if she created a relaxed atmosphere for learning math skills in an outdoor setting instead of the rigid classroom, these students would be motivated to learning.
146Girl Scouts are given the opportunity to “give back” to their community. Troop participation in service projects over the years have included: Project Eagle-Chain of Lakes Clean-up, National Public Lands day event, nursing home visit at Christmas, cookies for the firefighters of Winter Haven and Mission in Winter Haven, and working with Habitat for Humanity and the Garden Club to help landscape a Habitat Home. They also helped stock the pantry of that home.

Cookies teach business skills in Girl Scouting. 100 per cent of Girl Scout cookie proceeds stay in the girls’ local communities. Cookie money is used to purchase award badges, fund service projects, camping, end of the year trip and to pay national dues, which is $15.00 per girl.

Girl Scouts of West Central Florida owns and operates five local camp properties. Girls gain self-confidence while learning to put up their tent and cook their own meals. They learn about the environment and how to protect it. More information about camps can be found on the website www.gswcf.org. Marva says, “Girl Scouting is about having fun while learning to become a great leader that will contribute something positive to this world in which we live.”

 

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