Girl Scouts stay active during a unique summer

Brooke ConnerOur Town Kids, West Knox

Girl Scouts in the West Hills area are staying busy during unprecedented times, including troop 20101. Led by volunteers Carrie Duncanson, Renee Hicks and Kelley Rowland, the troop made up of Cadettes and Seniors have been together since they were Daisies.

The troop recently held a bridging and badge ceremony at Navitat, located at Ijams Nature Center, an outdoor adventure of trails and ziplining. Bridging is a beloved Girl Scout tradition that honors girls’ achievements throughout the year and celebrates their “crossing the bridge” to the next Girl Scout level.

“We have tried to use the social distancing to our advantage,” said Kelley. “The girls [are] happy just to get out of the house and do outdoor events. The summer has also enabled them extra time, time to focus on their virtual trainings.”

The Seniors did their Think Like a Citizen Journey in a six-week virtual training with GSCSA staff member Sarah Hinton. As part of their Take Action project, Avery, Rilee, Delaney, Handley, Lucy, Janey, Brooke, Sophie and Ava met at the University of Tennessee Gardens to make mason bee homes from jars and straws on Aug. 7.

To educate themselves for their project, the Girl Scouts had an education session with Whitney Welch at UT Gardens. They learned all about East Tennessee native pollinators and the flowers and plants that support them. Take Action projects encourages girls to develop a project that is sustainable, a solution that lasts.

Looking forward, they plan to have an education session on what they learned during their project on pollinators at a camp day this fall. In addition, the girls’ next goal will be completing training for Program Aids, teaching younger Girl Scouts how to backpack, burner stove usage, fire skills and knife safety.

Even during a global pandemic, Girl Scouts continue to build girls of courage, confidence and character, who make the world a better place.

Brooke Conner is social media and content coordinator of Girl Scouts of the Southern Appalachians.

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