MOUNT VERNON — The seven members of Junior Girl Scout Troop 214 attended the Mount Vernon City Council meeting on Feb. 14. This was so each of them could achieve their Model Citizen Badge. But higher on their agenda was to announce their troop had recently received the Bronze Award, the highest award a Junior Girl Scout troop can achieve.
“They had the idea; it was all them,” said troop co-leader Barbara Newcomb, in beaming of the troop’s accomplishment. As a few of the troop members have family serving in the military, it was decided to choose a project to benefit our troops. A church in Toledo was contacted who participates in the “Heroes In Action” program who has a list of Ohio soldiers to whom care packages can be sent. The Scouts then decided to make Christmas stockings and stuff them with “goodies” and then send them to our troops.
“They’re all about the military,” said Newcomb. “This project really touches home.”
Having to complete a project which lasted at least 15 hours for the Bronze Award, Newcomb told how the girls went out shopping, picked out a variety of fabric patterns and then went to work sewing. Newcomb then rounded up a few sewing machines and had some adults come in to help get the girls started with the sewing. The stockings were then stuffed with personal hygiene items, pads, pens, books, cards, peanuts and “a little bit of everything.”
When all was said and done, 189 stockings were completed and sent to troops in Iraq, Afghanistan, Kuwait and Africa.
“It was a real treat in seeing the girls complete this project,” said Newcomb. “We’ve heard back from quite a few of the soldiers already. It’s really exciting. It was just a fun project.”
Now in its sixth year of organization, Troop 214, currently made up of fourth- and fifth-graders, meets once a month plus has one activity per month. South Vernon Church on Columbus Road shelters and sponsors the troop and even picks up a few of the troop’s costs. “The church has really stepped up,” said Newcomb, explaining that in their first year as Daisies, the members did not sell Girl Scout Cookies, but now the church subsidizes the troop for assistance.
Newcomb shares troop leadership with co-leader Jennifer Bostic, but has other help as well. “We’re really lucky to have a committee,” said Newcomb. “They’re here for support handling the paperwork and finances. We just have all the fun.”
Although the stockings for troop members was probably their biggest project, there have been many other projects in the past as well.