Saturday, February 28, 2015

Tidewater Park Girl Scout Troop Hosts Black History Month Read-a-Thon

When Ernecia House thinks back to her time as a Girl Scout, she has some of her fondest childhood memories. She met some of her best friends through Girl Scouts—some of whom she still stays in contact with today. She also made great memories with her mother, who was also her troop leader. Now in her 30s, Ernecia and her mother Jan decided it was time to get back to Girl Scouting, and they have embarked on a new adventure together as the leaders of Girl Scout Troop 5161.

Girl Scout volunteer Ernecia House with Jykera, Naja and
Sa'Miya from Troop 5161.
When this mother-daughter team decided to get involved with Girl Scouts again, they learned about a new troop of Girl Scouts at Tidewater Park Elementary School who were in need of volunteers. The troop, which is funded by a grant from the United Way of South Hampton Roads Women’s Leadership Council, will help Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast provide girls at Tidewater Park with opportunities to build leadership skills, give back to the community and develop a sense of self-empowerment.

Although the troop just started meeting in January, under the guidance of Ernecia, Jan and longtime Girl Scout volunteer Toni Taylor, girls have already started forming new friendships, learning about responsibility and citizenship and setting personal goals to make themselves and their community a better place.

“Anything that you want to do, you can do it in Girl Scouts,” Taylor told the girls. “Girl Scouts is a positive place. It’s a sisterhood where we welcome all girls.”

Girl Scout volunteer Frederica looks
through a Black History Month book
with Girl Scout Daisy Sa'Miya during a
read-a-thon held by Troop 5161.
On February 23, the members of Girl Scout Troop 5161 hosted a Black History Month Read-a-Thon for their classmates who stay after school in the Boys and Girls Club at Tidewater Park Elementary School. During the read-a-thon, girls read Black History Month-themed books and then completed a variety of literacy activities, including creating an award for the book they read, writing an alternate ending and summarizing the plot. The read-a-thon was a fun and informal way to reinforce the literacy skills girls are learning in school.

Prior to the read-a-thon, the members of Girl Scout Troop 5161 already earned their first badge—Girl Scout Ways, which taught them about the history of Girl Scouting, its founder and the meaning of the Girl Scout Promise and Law. The troop members also talked about personal goals for 2015 and made vision boards, and they are selling Girl Scout Cookies.

“It’s a joy to be back volunteering with Girl Scouts after nearly 20 years,” Jan House said.

Next up, the troop has planned a field trip to Nauticus, and they will soon be working on the requirements to earn the First Aid badge.