To help needy families and to celebrate the Girl Scouts’ 105 birthday month, the Cherokee County Service Unit Girl Scouts threw a pajama party on March 21 at Our Lady of Sorrows Catholic Church in Jacksonville.
Organized by Daisy/Brownie Troop Leader Jennifer Hobbs, the party consisted of fun activities to earn the five parts of the GS 105 Birthday Badge set.
The center of the badge is a service until project, donating items to a local needy charity or nonprofit, a way to gift back to the community. Recently, the SU learned that the Crisis Center was extremely low on new pillows and birthday bags so the girls donated new pillows and birthday bags for needy families.
“We are so appreciative of the help that Girl Scout Service Unit 367 has given us,’ said Roger Pharr, Assistant Executive Director of the Crisis Center of Anderson and Cherokee Counties. “Pillows seem so insignificant to many of us, but a soft place to lay your head is such a blessing to the women and children that come into our safehouse. It makes it more of a ‘home,’ and it’s also something tangible of comfort that they can take with them when they move on.”
Parr continued, “The birthday bags are great for helping us mark special days in the lives of our clients. We try to celebrate the high points in the lives of our clients to encourage them to keep those special moments in their minds.”
“The Girl Scout Law encourages girls to make the world a better place,” explained Jillian Dublin, Service Unit Coordinator and Troop leader. “It’s always fun when girls of every age can participate together in service projects like this, because they directly impact our local community.”
The Girl Scout History part of the badge was done by learning about the WAGGS, the significance of the World Association Pin that all Girl Scouts and Guides wear, and making a SWAP. Brylin Beasley, Junior, told the assembly, “World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts is the largest voluntary movement dedicated to girls and young women in the world, representing ten million girls and young women from 146 countries. We have been active for over 100 years!”
The girls also made sleeping bag SWAPS, Special Whatamacallit Affectionately Pinned Somewhere. WAGGS all over the world make and trade SWAPS every time they meet other scouts. When you see a scout wearing a hat with handmade items pinned all over it, those are their SWAPS.”
Covering part of the STEM requirement, Hobbs discussed with the girls several female inventors and why their inventions are important, like Stephanie Kwolek, a chemist for Dupont who invented Kevlar. The girls also worked with magnetic properties and learned how the eye can trick the brain into believing something that is not true.
To earn the Healthy Living part, the girls paired up to teach each other new exercises and had a healthy snack of juice and popcorn to promote healthy living.
“For the financial literacy portion of the badge, girls were able to look at multiple denominations of currency from France, Thailand, Australia, Switzerland, and Egypt,” explained Dublin. Many have also finished the rest by budgeting for recent campout or doing an activity with parents, which also covered the Outdoor Leadership part of the badge.
The last part of the badge was Outdoor Leadership, which most of the girls have earned during a recent campout. The rest will earn them through activities with their families. “We were unable to make that campout due to family plans, but we tried out a new grill recipe over Spring Break and plan on a Nature Scavenger hunt this weekend so my daughter can finish this patch,” said Andrea Loyola, Troop Assistant Leader and Cadette mother.
“Our older girls learn to mentor and help with younger girls during Service Unit events like this one,” said Loyola. “My 7th grade daughter Emily and her best friend Lydia Martin helped another leader assist the younger ones making SWAPS tonight. They learn life and mentoring skills through their interactions with their younger GS Sisters. Emily loves working with the younger girls!”
GS Brownie mother Heather Allen said, “Gabrielle improves her social skills with her peers outside of school and learns to support needy causes in Girl Scouts. Giving these pillows to the Crisis Center really helps out needy families.”