Girl Scout Troop lends helping hand to humane society
GREENCASTLE -- Why become a Girl Scout? For the cookies?
It's about more than the famous cookies sold annually across America. Members of Greencastle Troop 59 have some other reasons for being a Girl Scout.
"I like the (community service) projects," said troop member Alina Bemish.
During their Saturday troop meeting, the girls worked on their current community service project. It will help them earn the highest honor for junior Girl Scouts -- the Bronze award.
The group of fifth-grade girls from Tzouanakis and Peace Lutheran schools, together with troop leader Beth Ann Newton, has decided to help out animals in need of a good home.
The troop has partnered with the Putnam County Humane Society to help find some furry critters a good home. The walls of Family Video will soon be filled with hearts, including biographies and pictures of available pets, made by the girls.
The community is invited to visit the adopt-a-thon from noon to 6 p.m. Feb. 13 at the video store, 820 Indianapolis Road.
"As a troop, we are able to help the community (through this project), said Newton.
Helping lonely animals find good homes isn't the only mission of the troop. They have crossed some boundaries and earned the Cub Scouts' whittling badge for pocketknife safety. In the summer, the troop will go on to earn a Boy Scout badge -- the Totem Chip.
"It will allow them to carry the pocket knife," explained Staci Weinschenk, mother of Girl Scout Whitney Weinschenk.
Girl Scouts are also dedicated to making their community a better place, whether it is planting trees, holding food drives or volunteering.
"I enjoy helping others," said Madie Woodall. "I help elderly people at the nursing home (where my mother works)."
Woodall said she has read to the residents and assisted them during lunch or dinnertime. While Woodall volunteers her time to the elderly, DePauw University senior Stephanie Rivera has been giving her time to Girl Scouts.
The Brooklyn, N.Y. native was first introduced to Girl Scouts through Newton. The two worked together and when Rivera mentioned missing her younger siblings -- aged 11, 12 and 17 -- Newton suggested she meet her Girl Scout troop.
"Now, my (11-year-old) sister is a part of Girl Scouts back home," she said laughing.
Rivera enjoys being a Girl Scout volunteer because it gives her the opportunity help with community service projects, such as the adopt-a-thon, and the leadership with the girls.
"It's great what Girl Scouts stand for," she said.
In Girl Scouts, girls discover the fun, friendship, and power of girls together. Through a myriad of enriching experiences, such as camping, community service projects, cultural exchanges and environmental stewardships, girls grow courageous and strong.
Troop 59 has made itself a perfect example of why to become a Girl Scout. Today, all Girl Scouts are encouraged to show their spirit by wearing a Girl Scout T-shirt, uniform or pin to work or school in honor of Spirit Day.
Girl Scouts will celebrate its 98th birthday on March 12 and was founded with 18 girls by Juliette Gordon Low in Savannah, Ga. To date, there are 3.3 million Girl Scouts with 2.4 million girl members and 928,000 adult volunteers.