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Young leaders make a difference

Girls participate in projects through scout organization

POSTED: January 7, 2009 4:00 a.m.

Girl Scouts is the premier organization for girls and women to make a difference in the world.

  

Dawson County currently has a group of young girls and young women who have already made contributions to the community.

  

Troop number 10610, Dawson County’s troop of Girl Scouts of Historic Georgia, has given back to the community through various avenues. From helping a family in need, to contributing to community efforts such as KARE for Kids or

  

Relay for Life, the group of girl scouts is doing its part to make the world a better place, beginning with Dawson County.

  

Two girl scouts in the troop chose a project to individually complete, each earning a bronze award.

  

Tatum Bales volunteered to work with first grade students to encourage them to enjoy and excel in reading. According to a recommendation from her teacher, Michelle Richardson, “Tatum has developed into a confident young woman, and she has made a difference among the students.”

  

Andrea Herr chose to work on beautifying the entrance to the Dawson County Library. She learned which plants would thrive in the deep shade under the trees and in the shadow of the building. She scouted garden shops and home gardens in order to choose what plants could be added to the beds.

  

As the summer plants faded, she replaced them with perennials that would be less work and add color during more than one season.

  

“Andrea had added sparkle and interest to the appearance of the library,” said Stacey Leonhardt, branch manager, and Greg Gilbert, library staff. “Thank you, and job well done.”

  

Two other girl scouts earned the next highest award, the silver award, after completion of their individual projects.

  

Ariel Buttram earned her award by collecting stuffed animals to donate to law enforcement agencies.

  

Buttram set up boxes at various businesses around Dawson County to collect the animals. Over more than a two month time period, Buttram collected about 2,500 animals. She donated them to emergency services, hospitals, fire and police departments in Cobb, Dawson, Pickens and Douglas counties.

  

According to Buttram, the stuffed animals are used by officials to give to children in crisis situations, or who have illnesses, to comfort them.

  

Becca Bishop landscaped a flowerbed at Riverview Middle School. Concerned that girl scouts are not “cool” at school, she asked the principal if there was anything the troop could do.

  

Janice Darnell, former Riverview Middle School principal and current principal at the time of Bishop’s project, told Bishop there was a flower bed that could use weeding.

  

Bishop took this project further than just weeding.

  

Over a period of 19 months she weeded, watered and added perennial flowers.

  

When the weather cooled she planted shrubs and seedling trees. As the drought became more severe in North Georgia, she collected “greywater” to sustain the new plants through the dry, early spring growing season and an even drier summer.

  

Greywater is also known as sullage, which is non-industrial wastewater generated from domestic processes such as dish washing, laundry and bathing.

  

To finish, she collected and added mulch to help protect the plants from cold weather and more dry seasons. She still checks on the plants to make sure they are thriving.

  

This world-known organization is dedicated solely to girls where, in an accepting and nurturing environment, girls build character and skills for success in the real world.

  

In partnership with committed adult volunteers, girls develop qualities that will serve them all their lives such as leadership, strong values, social conscience and conviction about their own potential and self-worth.

  

Girl Scouting begins the leadership training, which is the junior level, in fifth and sixth grade when the girls elect to earn the bronze award. The girl or troop of girls agrees on a project they would like to work on, and they learn about how to make a difference.

  

Girl Scouts has a number of different phases for participating girls. Before moving on to the next phase or level, a girl scout must complete a series of badges and projects.

  

To complete each level, juniors must earn the bronze award, cadets must earn the silver award, and seniors must earn the gold award. These awards are earned by conducting projects that benefit the community.

  

Founded in 1912 by Juliette Gordon Low, Girl Scouts’ membership has grown from 18 members in Savannah, to 3.7 million members throughout the United States, including U.S. territories, and in more than 90 countries through USA Girl Scouts Overseas.

  

Many women today in leadership or business positions credit their success to the time they spent in girl scouting.

  

E-mail Elizabeth Hamilton at elizabeth@dawsonnews.com.

 

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