Saturday, February 4, 2017

Troop 468 Warms the Community

The members of Virginia Beach Girl Scout Troop 468 had never thought twice about socks. They were just a part of their daily routine, that is, until they learned at school that socks are the number one item needed by the Judeo-Christian Outreach Center (JCOC), an organization that aims to break the cycle of homelessness in Virginia Beach. The troop members were shocked to learn about this need, and even more so that it was so close to home— less than a mile away from their classrooms at Cooke Elementary School. Always looking to help others, this go-getter group of girls sprang into action.

With cookie season on the horizon, the troop members figured out a way to combine their service project with the cookie program. The troop was already scheduled to host the annual cookie rally, a high-energy event to kick off the cookie season where girls learn the money management, goal setting and people skills they need for a successful sale. And, since Girl Scouts are celebrating the 100th year of the first known sale of cookies by Girl Scouts, Girl Scout Troop 468 set a goal to collect 100 pairs of socks at the cookie rally.

Friday, January 6 was the big night for Troop 468. They had spent weeks planning activity stations for their fellow Girl Scouts, as well as getting the word out about their sock collection. Much to their delight, their sock collection bin quickly began to fill as more than 90 Girl Scouts arrived to the Birdneck Elementary School cafeteria for the cookie rally.

For the next hour and a half, the troop members focused on running activities. Giada led a cookie tasting station where girls sampled this year’s new cookie— Girl Scout S’mores. Memiki and Janelle teamed up to help girls make a marshmallow catapult out of craft sticks and rubber bands that girls used to aim for their cookie goals on a target. Kinzey helped girls practice their money management skills, leading girls through a series of scenarios where they had to calculate the cost of cookie orders. Zoe helped girls decorate and cut out fun glasses to commemorate the big 100th cookie anniversary. Some of the girls’ moms helped lead stations as well, including a fun photo booth and making decorations for cookie booths.

At the end of the night, Nicole Newsome, the leader of Troop 468, made an exciting announcement. They girls had collected well over 100 pairs of socks to donate to the JCOC.

“I am so proud of the girls in my troop,” Newsome said. “Many of the girls have been in my troop since kindergarten. Now, they’re in fifth grade, and it has been amazing to see them grow in leadership.”

Troop 468 has plans to continue their work with the JCOC. This winter, they will be visiting the center to learn more about their needs and the impact that they make in the community. The girls will also continue to spread the word about their need for socks.

“I’ve seen homeless people out at the Oceanfront in the cold, and it is sad,” Troop Member Memiki Miller said. “I hope that our project will make a difference in peoples’ lives.”

For their project, both planning the cookie rally and collecting socks for the JCOC, the members of Troop 468 will earn the Girl Scout Bronze Award, the third highest honor and achievement a girl can earn in Girl Scouting.

Girl Scouts in southeastern Virginia and northeastern North Carolina are currently taking orders for cookies. Cookies will arrive to the region on February 18, and cookie booth sales will begin the following day. For more information, visit