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Girl Scouts open door to greater St. John Parish youth, adult participation

LAPLACE — LaPlace third grader Margaux Moutin enjoys singing to nursing home residents and volunteering at the local animal shelter through Girl Scouts, a community organization that has introduced her to a host of new friends and service initiatives.

“We do a lot of fun activities, and there are a lot of nice people,” Margaux said. “Sometimes we do community service. Girl Scouts are always here to help.”

When they aren’t servicing the community, Margaux said she and her fellow brownie troops enjoy craft time and playing outside.

Sophomore Victoria Glidden is a seven-year Girl Scouts veteran and a senior in Troop 70047. Growing up in the troop has afforded her leadership opportunities and a chance to direct meetings.

“We’re trying to make the meetings more girl-led instead of leader-led,” Victoria said.

Community administrator Katrice Reid said there’s a call for new Girl Scouts troop members and adult leaders in St. John the Baptist, St. Charles and St. James parishes, with registration available at gsle.org at any time.

Katrice Reid

The Girl Scouts year starts Oct. 1, and Reid said there are four troops in St. John the Baptist Parish open to girls from kindergarten through 12th grade.

The community is invited to an informational meeting showcasing a new junior/cadet troop from 10 a.m. to noon today at the Norris J. Millet Sr. Library in LaPlace.

The youngest troop members start as Daisy Scouts, encompassing kindergartners and first graders. Brownie scouts include second and third graders, juniors are fourth through fifth graders, cadets include sixth through eighth graders, and ninth through 12th graders are considered seniors or ambassadors.

Reid said there is a need for more brownie scouts and troop leaders.

Those pictured include, back row, from left, Rhonda Scott, Amelia Mouton, Jaci Donald, middle row, Alyssa Regis, Eveline Midkiff, Rylee Johnson, Hailey Hilbun, Victoria Glidden and, kneeling, Sydney Knoy. Girl Scouts Troop 20047 is collected new pairs of pajamas and teddy bears to donate to underprivileged children.

“A lot of people think they don’t have time, but all we ask of leaders is that they dedicate one hour to the girls for meetings once a month,” Reid said. “You’ll be surprised how it shapes their lives.”

There is an additional leaders meeting once a month at Rotolo’s, according to Reid.

She said River Region troops cater to every type of G.I.R.L., from the go-getters and innovators to the risk-takers and leaders.

Go-getters shine in entrepreneurship roles, making connections with local business leaders in the community, Reid said. Innovators think of creative service projects within the community, proving Girl Scouts are much more than cookies.

Girl Scouts member Alyssa Scott has been exposed to many adventures through the group.

When cookie sales roll around in the spring, Reid said girls learn the basics of budgeting and marketing.

Risk-takers love the thrill of camping and hiking, where girls learn survival skills, fire-building and cooking.

Meanwhile, leaders step up to facilitate monthly meetings.

Reid said Girl Scouts troops also learn first aid and CPR, host book drives for libraries and collect donations for the homeless and foster children.

“It’s important to me that the girls get these life skills in a safe environment,” Reid said. “It’s training us to love ourselves, love our community and give back.”

Membership is $25 for the year, and troop leaders must go through a simple background check. For more information, visit gsle.org.