By Julie Wiessner
The girls of new Brownie Troop 151 in Holbrook have several big ideas to help out by giving back to the community while earning several badges for themselves.
The Brownies also set a goal for themselves to presell at least 1,000 boxes of Girl Scout Cookies before having to submit their orders. They almost doubled that with 1,915 boxes of cookies pre-sold by Jan. 26.
The Brownies are working on a few badges that coincide with cookie selling or learning how to deal with money. One is the Money Manager’s Badge, another, the Philanthropist Badge.
Earning the Money Manager Badge included a homework assignment using 30 fake dollars to determine the cost of food items that must be nutritious and at the same time, not go over the allotted $30 amount. They had to write down the food item and its cost on a piece of paper, and add the items to make sure they did not go over their allotted amount of money. This is a very good exercise in managing one’s money, especially for the second and third grade students who make up this Brownie troop.
The Brownies then had to ask management at Safeway how they give back to the community. Their answer, Safeway will make a donation in the form of a gift card if they have received a donation letter and the store deems it a worthy cause.
Another component to one of the badges is they must give back to the community. What this troop has decided to do is help save an endangered species. They have not yet decided which species to donate money to help save, but have narrowed it down to either the California Condor, the Sonoran Tiger Salamander, the Black Footed Ferret or the Mexican Grey Wolf.
Another giving back project the girls have decided upon is to donate boxes of cookies to food banks in the area. So far, they have had people donate 34 boxes for the Gift of Caring part of the badge, but Troop Leader Linda Parker thinks they will, “hopefully, have more donations when they set up their booths around town to sell Girl Scout Cookies outright.”
Another community service effort the girls chose is to provide the food, cook it and serve it to the folks at the Bread Life Mission. Right now they are trying to get a date set for the dinner.
The Brownies are also working on the Inch Worm of Service badge, which requires 15 hours of community service, and the Mint Marathon badge, which requires the girls to walk 22 of 25 miles, before the last three miles, which will then be called The Thin Mint Sprint.
Not only are the girls learning how to manage their money, to give back to the community in different ways and about the importance of exercise, they are also learning how to cooperate together to achieve the goals they have set for themselves.
Past community service activities began when school did, and included assisting Librarian Wendy Skevington in serving snacks to picnic goers at the Teddy Bear Picnic at the Holbrook Public Library, going to the senior center at Christmastime to sing carols, and serving hot cocoa and cookies at the Christmas tree lighting ceremony.
They will also be helping Lezlie Laird trim the Box Tops for Education turned in at the schools, check them for damage and ensure that they are not out of date.
As Parker said, “These are little girls with big ideas. They have continually surprised me with the things they want to accomplish, the goals they have set for themselves. Every time we have a meeting, I am really amazed with what these girls want to do.”
The girls aren’t all work and no play, though. Some of the money they have earned will be set aside for a fun goal. Perhaps they will be visiting Flagstaff’s Aquaplex in the near future, or choose another way to reward themselves for all of the hard work they have done.
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By Julie Wiessner