Girl Scouts begin next chapter

When the Girl Scouts of America officially wrap up a monumental 100th anniversary March 12, the question is how to keep that momentum going.

COURTESY PHOTO COOKIE TIME – A few North Monroe County Girl Scout leaders are ready for cookie sales currently taking place. From left, are Amanda Phillips, assistant leader; Candi Allred, leader; Ryleigh Otts, Girl Scout Junior; Patsy Parker, assistant leader; Emella Steele, leader.

COURTESY PHOTO
COOKIE TIME – A few North Monroe County Girl Scout leaders are ready for cookie sales currently taking place. From left, are Amanda Phillips, assistant leader; Candi Allred, leader; Ryleigh Otts, Girl Scout Junior; Patsy Parker, assistant leader; Emella Steele, leader.

“A saying going among the Girl Scouts now is ‘We made it through 100 years, but how are we going to spend the next 100?’ There are plenty of misconceptions out there about the Girl Scouts and we’re trying to get our name out there for so many other things than just cookies, crafts and badges,” said Emilie Hutcheson, membership manager of Girl Scouts Heart of the South.
Membership with the Girl Scouts include several activities like learning new dance moves, camping, taking care of the planet, developing leadership skills, contributing to the community, learning business skills, experiencing art, staying healthy and active, becoming independent and also working together as a team.
Girl Scouts Heart of the South prepares girls for their future by focusing on leadership, math, science, technology, healthy living, financial literacy and the arts. We also offer programs through community partnerships.
“We’re out there pushing for healthier eating and anti-bullying too. We want our girls to be leaders in any field and we want to push them into leadership opportunities after they graduate from the Girl Scouts,” Hutcheson said.
Girl Scout Week is March 9–16 and Girl Scout cookies are currently being sold. Boxes are available for $3.50 a box and flavors include Thin Mints, Trefoils, Tagalongs, Do-si-dos, Samoas, Savannah Smiles, Dulche de Leche and Thank You Berry Munch.
Several Girl Scout troops converged on Memphis last year for a host of events to celebrate the 100th birthday like inflatables, rock climbing walls, singing contests, a t-shirt design contest and sports, with the headlining concert by Bridgit Mendler of Disney Channel fame.
The Girl Scouts also held several local events as part of the celebration. Monroe County is split into two districts – North Monroe, which has nine active Girl Scout troops, and South Monroe, which has seven.
Aberdeen has an in-school program at Belle Elementary and also a troop with the Aberdeen Housing Authority. Countywide, Hutcheson estimates between 30 and 40 volunteers, but the organization is looking for more participants.
“We’re looking for more Girl Scouts and more volunteers. With these girls, we don’t want their 12-year experience to end when their eligibility runs out. We want them to come back to volunteer with the next generation,” Hutcheson said.
For more information about joining or volunteering with the Girl Scouts, contact Hutcheson at 350-6044 or emilie.hutcheson@girlscoutshs.org.

About Ray Van Dusen

I've been with the Monroe Journal since Aug. 2009 as a staff writer, but took the role as news editor in late 2012. I'm always looking for interesting story ideas from around Monroe County. You can reach me via email at ray.vandusen@journalinc.com.