Girl Scouts

Patricia Vincent, right, Girl Scouts of Black Diamond Council, was the grand marshal for the 2017 Fairmont Christmas parade. She was sponsored by Fairmont Lions Club.

FAIRMONT — Does your daughter like sleeping under the stars? Or perhaps she’s interested in art.

The Girl Scouts of the Black Diamond Council are inviting girls to come learn about Girl Scouts Saturday, May 1 from 1-3 p.m. at the First Baptist Church at 901 Fairmont Ave. for a “Grow With Girl Scouts” party.

Shannan Davis, the Council’s membership delivery manager, said recruitment normally takes place during the fall but right now the Daisy Launch Campaign is going on, which is for girls who are going into or currently in kindergarten.

Girls Scouts are also offering an extended membership option. Parents can pay $35 instead of the normal $25 for membership and it registers girls to be a member right now and continue to be a member for the next membership year.

“If they didn’t do that they would have to pay 25 now and 25 again in October when our membership year starts, but this extended year is a bit of a discount,” Davis said.

On Saturday, girls will get an introduction into what it means to be a Girl Scouts with a quick overview of the program. They will also be planting flowers the girls can give to their moms for Mother’s Day. There will also be Girl Scout cookies for the girls to sample.

“We’re going to sing some traditional Girl Scout songs. It’s just kind of a very relaxed fun day,” Davis said.

During the pandemic, Davis said a lot of the troops have gone to virtual programming formats such as Zoom.

“But now as things seem to be kind of opening up we are trying to very slowly allow troops to do some more outdoor things, trying some outdoor events. Things like that,” Davis said.

She said troops are slowly coming back to the community and people may have noticed Scouts selling cookies at outside booths last month.

What Davis often tells parents that are interested in putting their daughters in Scouts is that Scouting can be tailored to their daughter.

“If your daughter likes camping, likes outdoors and likes bugs and getting dirty you can do the outdoor badge, you can do the bugs badge ... but if your daughter is more into art and crafts and dress up and things like that you can do programming for her too,” Davis said.

As the pandemic continues, if parents feel better about doing online programming that is also an option. Davis said it’s so exciting to see the girls come out and enjoy Girl Scouts. She’s served in her position for six years and said she’s known a lot of the girls since they were little.

“It’s been nice to see them grow and change and adapt. Especially with this pandemic just kind of figure out how to handle this situation,” Davis said.

She said girls in Marion County did great in cookie sales this year. She said across the board sales were down, but Marion County didn’t shy away from sales.

“They were one of the best in the entire council so they really took that as ‘we’re going to make the best out of this’ and that kind of positive energy is really contagious,” Davis said.

Scout Leader Michelle Jurasko said last year there wasn’t much done by way of recruitment because of COVID-19. She said, this year, they’re trying to build the troops up and get more people involved in the community and more girls involved in Girl Scouts.

Jurasko has a troop of 16 girls ranging from kindergarten going into fourth grade next year. Jurasko said the girls learn basic life skills. Her troop has learned how to care for a pet, how to start a campfire, and next week, will learn the water cycle as part of the Journey Packet the troop is doing.

“It’s different things, I mean with cookie season they learn entrepreneurship, they make decisions, they count money,” Jurasko said.

Jurasko said it’s important for girls to learn these lessons because it helps them become better members of society. She said with her troop and her own daughter, she wants the girls to be strong.

“They need to find out who they are, and this helps them but they also grow a sisterhood with that,” Jurasko said.

She said the girls might be from different schools, but the troop comes together and are best friends. Her favorite thing about leading a troop is letting the girls know she’ll be there for them.

“Helping them be better people is the one thing that I love about what I do,” Jurasko said.

Reach Sarah Marino at 304-367-2549

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