By Christine Vincent
Some readers may remember a group of smiling Girl Scouts holding out their Bucket to Fill for Flood Relief last January at the Beehive Restaurant in Montesano. Others may have noticed them picking up truckloads of trash on the Ocean Shores beach on July 5.
Participating in the Washington CoastSavers beach clean up campaign and working hard for Flood Relief are only two of the numerous charitable activities that the young members of the Montesano Girl Scout Troop #41645 are involved in. Thirty-five girls span from kindergarten through 8th grade and are eager to help where ever they can.
They raise money for local, national and international organizations like CoastSavers, Ronald McDonald House, Operation Christmas Child, PAWS, Friendship House and the Union Gospel Mission of Grays Harbor. It is hard to believe how much the Grays Harbor community owes to this group of lively, hardworking girls.
Today seven Girl Scouts and three adults, co-leaders Sarah Thomasson and Annette Roehrborn and Patsy Connor, are talking about their troop’s work. The Girl Scouts are obviously proud of their charity work and show off their badge-filled vests. There are no sour faces here, no boredom. Giving obviously makes these girls happy. They are often motivated to join a cause by needs they perceive in their own family or community.
Heidi Schmidt talks about her aunt and uncle who lost their home in the January 2015 flood. Laura Pettis describes the difficulties of her aunt who owns two Consistent Cup Espresso bars and suffered over $5,000 in damages. Heidi, Laura and their sister Scouts immediately jumped to the aid of flood victims. They raised over $2,000 and collected household items which were distributed in a warehouse space graciously donated by Harbor Saw and Supply.
Thomasson adds that the girls’ giving is not restricted to fundraising – they also give time and joy. They sing Christmas carols at the Montesano Health & Rehab facility and the Children’s Advocacy Center of Grays Harbor. Rebekah Roehrborn, Alexia Fry and sisters Maddison and Zie Connor recently donated part of their long hair to cancer patients. Maddison and Zie waved signs in Montesano for the Stop Bullying Campaign.
These generous girls are proud to be Girl Scouts. At Thomassons’s prompting, todays’ seven representatives raise three fingers of their right hand in the Girl Scout sign and recite the promise:
On my honor, I will try:
To serve God and my country,
To help people at all times,
And to live by the Girl Scout Law.
The mission of Girl Scouts of the United States of America (GSUSA) reads: “Girl Scouting builds girls of courage, confidence, and character who make the world a better place.” Founded in 1912, GSUSA was chartered by the United States Congress on March 16, 1950. Today, the organization has 2 million youth members and 800,000 adult members most of whom are volunteers.
The Girl Scout motto is famous: “Be prepared.” With the large parent organization behind their local troop, the Montesano scouts receive direction and training to be prepared in any circumstance. Mikayla Koeke and Vivian Thomasson are especially interested in the two-year Program Aid Training which will teach the girls leadership skills.
Girl Scouts are most well known for their annual cookie sale, which is the world’s largest girl-run business. The annual cookie sale program teaches girls goal setting, decision making, money management, people skills and business ethics. All of these are great resume building skills. Alexia Frye and Heidi Schmidt both received a special recognition for selling over 1,000 boxes this year. They received cookie dough credit cards, which can be used for books, uniforms, items from the Girl Scout store, and for admission to events or Girl Scouts camp.
Apart from the reward of giving in itself, the Girl Scouts’ hard work is rewarded by fun activities such as heading to Wild Waves, Great Wolf Lodge, Seattle and especially Girl Scouts Camp, St. Albans, in Allyn.
As the Montesano Girl Scout Troop looks to the future, Roehrborn says that there are lots of girls who would like to join but that the troop needs more adults become leaders. If you are interested, contact Roehrborn at 360-593-4791 or email email@example.com
The Montesano Girl Scout Troop meets every Wednesday afternoon at the Montesano Church of God located at 317 E. Spruce Ave in Montesano. You can also follow the Montesano Girl Scout Troop #41645 on Facebook.