Throughout the years, the Girl Scouts of Kentucky’s Wilderness Road have been a positive symbol of hard work and commitment, not only to their troop but also to their communities.
For some, the Girl Scouts are a well-recognized group, but many are still in the dark about what the Girl Scouts are.
Girl Scouts is a youth organization for girls in the United States and American girls living abroad. The Girl Scouts were founded by Juliette Gordon Low in 1912 and have since been preparing girls to empower themselves and promote compassion, courage, confidence, character, leadership, entrepreneurship, and active citizenship through activities involving camping, community service, first aid, and by earning badges by acquiring practical skills.
Girl Scouts of the United States of America (GSUSA) is split into different counsils across the U.S. In our area, our counsel is the Girl Scouts of Kentucky’s Wilderness Road which spans from Lawrence County, Ohio, to Lexington, Kentucky. Once a counsel has been established in a particular area, they split into clusters or troops.
Local troop leader Maggie Delong says Girl Scout leaders can have one or multiple troops, all depending on what they can handle.
Delong is a first-year troop leader but has a lengthy background of involvement in the Girl Scouts. “I was about ten-years-old when I started,” Delong said. “I was a Girl Scout all through high school and became a Girl Scout summer camp counselor in college.”
This year, Delong presides over a daisy troop that meets every other week. Daisies are Girl Scouts, ages K-1st grade. “Right now, we are still recovering from the pandemic. I started this year with five girls and now I have eleven,” Delong said.
“As daisies we are learning the Girl Scout law and what being courageous means. We are also learning about traditions and how to help the community.”
Girl Scouts earn badges and patches when they complete activities that fall under four specific categories. These categories are STEM, Outdoors, Life Skills and Entrepreneurship.
Delong says her daisy troop will soon be practicing coding. “First this will be taught on a daisy level, but as they advance, they will have more requirements.”
When Girl Scouts move up in age, they move up in troop as well. There are six age-based troops in all: Daisies, Brownies, Juniors, Cadets, Seniors and Ambassadors.
In addition to the previously-mentioned activities, Delong says she is so proud of the community service the Girl Scouts take part in. According to Delong, many troops do food drives, and her troop will be doing “Birthdays in a Bag. These are bags that contain enough birthday party décor to throw someone a little birthday party,” Delong said. “We are donating them to the food pantry.”
Delong says something else the girls do is collect animal supplies and donate them to the animal shelter.
In addition to all the community service and outreaches the Girl Scouts participate in, they also love to celebrate events such as Girl Scout World Thinking Day which is honored each year on February 22.
“It’s a day where we recognize Girl Scouts all over the world,” Delong said. “Each troop will pick a country and set up a table dedicated to that country. Each Girl Scout will receive a ‘passport’ that they can take from table to table to get stamped, showing that they have visited a new country and learned new things!”
Though this event is remembered every February 22, the actual Girl Scout World Thinking Day event will take place on February 25, 2023.
In March, the Girl Scouts celebrate the founding of the Girl Scouts during Girl Scout week. This year is the Girl Scouts’ 111th birthday. “We start off the week with Girl Scout Sunday, and throughout the week we share our favorite memories,” Delong said.
“The girls also love Girl Scout State Park Day. This occurs every September and the state park provides the education for the girls,” Delong explained.
Another fun and educational activity the Girl Scouts provide is summer camps. Delong said there is a summer camp they attend just outside of Morehead, Kentucky, and there are day camps held at Armco Park.
Anyone interested in learning more about the Girl Scouts, events and memberships may call 1-800-475-2621 or stop at the Girl Scout Experience Center Store located inside the Ashland Town Center Mall, directly beside the JC Penney’s mall entrance.