Each year, our Girl Scout cookies arrive at our house via our favorite Brownie, who as I understand will soon “bridge” to Juniors. Usually, she hands us the cookies and as she thanks us for supporting the Girl Scouts, I try not to get misty over how cute it is and how much she’s grown.
This year, the price of doing business included a showing of my own patch-covered Girl Scout Jacket — per a Google search, it’s “vintage.” Even though I can only remember some of the events commemorated by the decidedly ’80s patches, I loved my time as a Girl Scout. I do remember the Cookie Sale patches and The Mom and Daughter patch from a fancy dinner we went to, which I mainly don’t forget because someone ordered escargot and I learned what that meant. I remember being with my friends, going on a camping trip as a troop, and the orange tassels that went with my Brownie uniform knee socks. Per the rest of the patches, we sold calendars, toured a hospital and a pizza place, and performed service “from the heart.”
According to GirlScoutsWW.org “At Girl Scouts, your girl will prepare for a lifetime of leadership, success, and adventure in a safe, no-limits place designed for and by girls!” Scouts will gain important skills in “four areas that form the foundation of the Girl Scout Leadership Experience: Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM), Outdoors, Life Skills, Entrepreneurship.” There are so many wonderful, powerful descriptions of the 107-year-old program on the website that come through in events like the “all-inclusive dance for the Queer Community and its allies,” thrown in 2016 by then 16-year-old Edmonds-Woodway sophomore and Girl Scout Kyrsten Frost as part of her Gold Award — “the highest honor in Girl Scouts and is earned by addressing a community issue.”
It can be a lot of work to see if something is a good fit and to then join the organization, but the local Girl Scouts have made it a lot easier. You and your child can find out what it means to be in a troop at two upcoming, free events that mix fun for kids with info for adults!
On Monday, April 22 from 6 to 7 p.m., girls currently in kindergarten through 3rd grade and their adults can come to the Girl Scouts Art Party. They invite you to “come learn how your girl can grow in courage, confidence, and character through a Girl Scout Troop, camp, or super-fun science camp in Edmonds.” The party, held in the Community Room at the Frances Anderson Center, will include art activities for the girls and information on the local troops forming now.
On Thursday, April 25 from 6 to 7 p.m., also in the Community Room at the Frances Anderson Center, there will be a Daisy Launch Party. Girls in Pre-K can “be a Daisy for a Day” as they make Galaxy Playdough and a constellation sensory bag, discover real life female space heroes and make new friends. Those in attendance will also earn their first Girl Scout Fun Patch.
Sondra Cooper, Community Engagement Manager of Girl Scouts of Western Washington, told me that “Girl Scout troops are forming all year long, so girls don’t have to wait for next school year — they can start their adventure today!” Cooper says the Art Party and Daisy Launch are to give girls a taste of what it’s like to be a Girl Scout while letting the parents learn about their options and how to get involved. There are new troops currently accepting members in Edmonds, including Pre-K Troop 41812, K/1st Troop 45203, 2nd/3rd Troop 48460, and 4th/5th Troop 41483.
If you don’t see your child’s age range here or are waiting for next school year, you can visit GirlScoutsWW.org/Join where you can see upcoming events and also register for a troop. You can also call Customer Care at 800-541-9852 or email Sondra Cooper directly at [email protected].
Through my friend whose daughters have both participated, I learned that Girl Scouts also offer summer camps. Cooper let me know about a local offering called “Cedar and Sound Twilight Camp,” which is volunteer-run and takes place only in the evenings during the week of July 29. This year it’s happening in Edmonds City Park! “The classic camp experience is available for girls entering 1st – 7th grade in the fall, while older girls can participate as Program Aides, helping lead the younger girls in outdoor activities, games, songs, etc. under adult supervision.” For information on how to register you can visit CedarAndSound.com.
Cooper says there are also overnight Girl Scout camp options that include: Camp River Ranch, Camp Robbinswold, and Camp St. Albans. Camps run all through the summer, with different themes for different grade levels. Cooper also shared that financial sssistance is available for qualifying families to attend any Girl Scout Camp.
In a brief search of the many options, I see that Camp River Ranch has a day camp option which includes one optional sleepover night. Information and registration for these camps, as well as other nearby volunteer-led day and twilight camps, is available at GirlScoutsWW.org/Camp.
— By Jennifer Marx
Jen Marx, an Edmonds mom of two boys, is always looking for a fun place to take the kids that makes them tired enough to go to bed on time.