By Sylvia Arroyo
Girl Scouts in Troop 7034 based in southeastern Van Zandt County are “breaking bread” with their communities in a unique way. They are working on a bread-making project that provides various types of breads to local community members who may need assistance as well as to housing areas for the elderly and disabled.
Troop Leader Carlann Fey thought this project would empower the girls and make them feel like they are making a difference while being at home due to COVID-19-related shelter-in-place orders. “They’re also spending so much time on the computer that this is a good diversion,” she explained.
Since the week of March 9 and each week after that, the girls have been at home baking all types of bread – wheat, banana nut, pumpkin, even sweet bread. Carlann collects the bread at each girl’s house (contactless delivery and follows recommended guidelines) and delivers it all herself. None of the girls accompany her as they remain at home.
“In the first week, I delivered 16 loaves of bread. Then on the second week, I delivered that much plus 20 more,” Carlann said.
All who have received the bread have been so appreciative. Carlann noted that one person responded in tears when she received bread. “Some people can’t get out, and some of them during this period have lost their home healthcare because aids are afraid to go to their homes,” she said.
ACTIVE, DEDICATED AND COMMUNITY-MINDED
The majority of the 22 girls in the troop, who range from ages 5 to 15 and are primarily from the Van School District, are participating in the project, which is ongoing until the girls decide to work on another service project.
Carlann pitched this idea to the troop after she had a conversation with a friend who is home-bound year-round and was concerned that she would not be able to find any food at the grocery stores that she can conserve.
“It didn’t take long to receive buy-in from the girls on this project. They are usually 100 percent behind service projects,” Carlann explained. She noted that the troop was making face masks before GSNETX offered the Mask-ER-aid patch program.
She encourages the girls’ parents to take photos of the girls baking to post on the troop’s private Facebook group. This way, they can bond differently than during their virtual troop meetings, while sharing this experience helping their communities during this difficult time.
LITTLE GIRL SCOUT BAKERS
It's a joy for Carlann to see photos and videos of the girls baking. She recalled watching a video of one of the girls, who tends to be quite orderly and tidy. “There she was in the kitchen kneading the bread and enjoying herself as she picked her fingers and wiggled her nose,” she said. "She then went back to kneading and baking.”
For some girls, this was the first time they had baked bread. Though it’s been quite a learning experience for them, the girls have been enjoying the process and are supportive of each other. “The girls like it, they enjoy it,” Carlann noted.
She added that through this practical yet powerful offering, “the troop is helping those in need know that someone is thinking about them.”