Thursday, September 4, 2014

Elizabeth City Girl Scout Troop Takes Action to Make a Difference

When it comes to the members of Girl Scout Troop 1624 in Elizabeth City, they’re all about taking action. The 15 members of the troop, many of whom are starting their second year in Girl Scouts this year, meet on a weekly basis to plan and take part in fun and meaningful activities. Though many of the troop members are still in elementary school, they have already learned about how they can make a positive impact on their community.

In April, when strong storms brought tornadoes through northeastern North Carolina, Troop 1624 partnered with Chick-fil-a to deliver sandwiches and water to families in neighborhoods affected by the storms. The Girl Scouts, along with other volunteers in the community, handed out 1,500 cases of water and 5,000 sandwiches to local residents in the days following the storm. The volunteer leader of the troop, Diane Siniard, is always looking for ways that girls can help out in the community and learned about this project on social media.

Diane with troop members Samantha, Marlie and Brianna
during Operation School Supplies.
Most recently, members of the troop helped collect school supplies through WAVY-TV’s annual campaign to help ensure that children in the region have the resources that they need for a successful start to the school year. The girls spent a day helping to “stuff the bus” for Operation School Supplies, collecting and sorting donations of notebooks, glue, scissors, pencils and more outside of a Chesapeake Farm Fresh.

“Community service teaches girls that there are people less fortunate than they are, which gives them a new perspective on the things they do have,” Siniard said. “It is important for them to learn about civic duty at a young age, and I try to give them plenty of opportunities to make a difference.”

Siniard, who spent a short time in Girl Scouts while growing up, reconnected with the organization when her daughter started kindergarten and was old enough to join Girl Scouts. In addition to providing girls with community service opportunities as the leader of Troop 1624, Siniard also keeps up to date with trainings in order to provide outdoor experiences for girls through camping trips, as well as STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) activities through TechBridge, a hands-on learning program to expand academic and career options for girls.

The troop has more community service projects on the horizon, including collecting clothing and blankets to donate to the homeless through a local shelter and adopting a highway segment to keep clean. They’ll also be supporting local families during the holidays through Angel Tree, through which they’ll provide gifts of clothing, personal care items and toys to those who are unable to afford such gifts.

Community service has been a cornerstone of Girl Scouting since the organization was founded over 100 years ago. Through their work to improve the community, the members of Troop 1624 have learned to identify community needs, become resourceful problem solvers and inspired others to take action. These lessons will last them well beyond their youth years in Girl Scouts and will give them the courage and confidence to continue to take on leadership roles in the future.

To share your troop's community service efforts, email