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Celebrate Central’s Girl Scouts

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By Mia Freneaux; Photos submitted by individual troop leaders

    In 1913, a 10 to 17 year old Girl Scout had to learn to use a vacuum cleaner, stain and polish hardwood floors, correctly store furs, clean glass, brass and silver, and know 3 cuts of meat and the prices of each to earn her “Matron Housekeeper” badge.  Today’s 8 to 11 year old Junior Girl Scout must know how to replace a broken window pane safely, repair a leaking toilet, know how to paint and wallpaper, and know what changes could be made at home to help conserve water to earn her “Miss Fix-It” badge.  These interesting comparisons show first of all how dedicated the Girl Scout Program has been for almost 100 years to producing girls who are able and willing to do all sorts of tasks; and second how dedicated they are to producing girls who are completely functional in the society and with the technology of their times. 

    Girl Scouts of America was started by Juliette Gordon Low, who brought together 18 girls in Savannah, Georgia in 1912 to form the very first Girl Scout troop.  She believed that all girls should be “given the opportunity to develop physically, mentally, and spiritually.” To this end, she created events involving hiking, basketball, camping, learning first aid, and telling time by looking at the stars.  Very ambitious for a time when women were not even allowed to vote!  The modern Girl Scout Mission reflects her vision: to build girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place.  Since then, Girl Scouting has spread all over the world, with over 3.4 million girls involved in this country alone.  

    Though no one knows when Girl Scouts came to the Central area, everyone agrees they’ve been here quite a while.  The only records available show that Girl Scouting began in the Baton Rouge area in 1921 when a group of girls travelled down Bayou Manchac and the Amite River by boat to Camp Murphy in Port Vincent.  Later that year, they became part of the Girl Scouts of America. 

Girl Scouts have continued to keep that spirit of adventure alive here in Central.  There are 9 active troops in town.  Daisy (girls Kindergarten through first grade) Troop 10212 meets at St. Alphonsus on the first and third Mondays of the month.  They have helped at the Blackwater UMC Pumpkin Patch and recently attended the Camp Marydale cookie sales event.  Daisy Troop 10233, also attended the Marydale event.  They meet at Carrie’s 5678 Dance Studio on Saturdays.  Daisy Troop 10066 meets on the first Sunday at the Greenwell Springs branch of the public library.  Brownies, grades 2 and 3, are represented by Troop 10362 and Troop 10128.  Troop 10362 meets at St. Alphonsus School on the first and third Mondays.  They have attended Camp Marydale and participated in the Corn Maze.  Troop 10128 meets at St. Augustine Episcopal Church on the first and third Mondays as well.  They have been raising money with their nut and candy sale in the fall.  They also brought Subway sandwiches to the Central Fire Department and toured it.  Recently they went to an LSU Sorority and learned about helping friends with bullying. Juniors are girls in grades 4 and 5.  Junior Troop 10134 has been super busy with Camp Marydale, earning their Horse Rider badge while there, then collecting food for the Cat Haven Shelter, making sock toys for other shelter animals, wrapping Christmas gifts for children in the Braveheart – Children in Need Project, and donating gifts to the Angel Tree Project. They have sent Gift of Caring cookie donations to our military troops.  They earned their Theater badge at the theater workshop at the Renaissance Festival, and have had a Safari Night sleepover at the Baton Rouge Zoo.  Troop 10036 is a mixed troop with grades Kindergarten through 8th.  Meeting at Blackwater United Methodist Church every Monday, the girls have been busy doing their monthly service projects, such as cleaning up at the Blackwater Conservancy, donating gifts to the Angel Tree Project, collecting for the Central Food Bank, and adopting a soldier.  These travelling girls have gone all the way to the airbase at Belle Chase to deliver Gift of Caring cookies, as well as to our own Central Fire Department, where they helped wash the engine.  They also helped place flags at the Port Hudson National Cemetery for Memorial Day. Troop 10757, with ages from Kindergarten through 4th grade meets at Kingdom of God Christian Ministry at Florida and Sherwood on the first Thursday of the month.  They have been busy helping at the Baton Rouge Food Bank, collecting donated food and creating care packages to go with the food boxes.  Cadette Troop 10010, consisting of grades 7 and 8, meet at the home of a member on the first and third Mondays.  They are hard at work earning their Silver Award.  All of these girls are to be commended for their dedication to such an excellent organization and all of their efforts to make a difference in their world.  To get more information on Girl Scouts, call the Girl Scouts Louisiana East office at 927-8946.

Above: Troop 36 puts flags on veterans' graves for Memorial Day

Above: Troop 10134 at camp

Above: Troop 10362 at Camp Marydale

Above: Troop 10212 at Pumpkin Patch

Above: Troop 10233 at camp

 

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