Girl Scouts eases entry into middle school

Lucy BranamOur Town Youth, South Knox

South Knoxville is one of Knox County’s only districts with one middle school and multiple feeder schools, meaning the shift from elementary to middle school can be intimidating for some students. Girl Scouts is easing the transition, according to Lindsay Johnson, leader of Troop 21184.


“The jump from fifth to sixth grade can be a little scary in a community like ours,” Johnson said. “For six years, our children have gone to school with same kids. Then, they go to the middle school, and it’s like culture shock.”

Johnson’s troop lost several members in 2021 as the Covid-19 pandemic continued to cause cancellations and uneasiness at in-person activities. Troop 21184 is six girls strong, including several Brownies, a Junior and a Cadette. They’re hoping to combine with another local troop this year.

“I’m really excited about potentially merging with the other troop because they have 17 girls, who attend three different schools,” Johnson said. “That’s huge because our girls are going to have more friends and be more comfortable when they walk into a middle school classroom.”

For students like Johnson’s daughter, Caroline, that is not only valuable socially, but also personally.

“My daughter really was someone who was good at having one friend but not necessarily great in a group setting,” Johnson said. “Girl Scouts is really good for her, and now, she’s engaging with everyone and making sure to be inclusive. Girl Scouts teaches girls not only to make the world a better place, but also to be better friends.”

Troop 21184 and others across East Tennessee always are accepting new members. Learn more about Girl Scouts of the Southern Appalachians at girlscoutcsa.org and find a troop by texting the word “JOIN” to 59618 or sending an email to info@girlscoutcsa.org.

Parents and community members also are encouraged to support Girl Scouts by volunteering. Go to girlscoutcsa.org and click on “Volunteer” to get involved.

“Since volunteering to lead my daughter’s troop four years ago, I have not regretted my decision for a moment,” Johnson said. “Girl Scouts helps me raise my daughter to have a positive impact on others and her community. Getting to do this together is truly a gift.”

Lucy Branam is creative manager for Girl Scouts of the Southern Appalachians.

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