Troop 3131 Girl Scouts of Bolton pause for a photo following a local Christmas tree lighting ceremony. The scouts were key participants in Bolton’s holiday celebrations, caroling at houses of home-bound local residents as well as assisting at the local visit with Santa at the Bolton firehouse.
Girl Scouts in the region are engaged in a wide variety of activities that build confidence, character and leadership, while contributing to their communities and making the world a better place.
Girl Scouting is now enduring the challenges presented by ongoing consolidation and regionalization of its administration, so in response, it has been the focus of scout leaders in northern Warren County to step forward and strengthen their relationship with their hometowns — as they help recruit new troop members and scout leaders.
Scouting a strong tradition in Bolton
In Bolton Landing, Girl Scouting has outstanding participation — the local troops routinely enroll every single local girl in particular grades at Bolton Central School — introducing them to the fun and adventure of scouting.
Such a commitment translates to a vibrant, caring spirit of helping others, local community leaders have noted.
Bolton’s Troop 3131, for instance, has eight members, representing virtually most all the girls in Bolton Central’s eighth grade. These girls enrolled as Kindergartners and have continued scouting throughout their elementary-school years and into junior high together.
And their interest in scouting is not just about having fun together. All through these formative years, they’ve been dedicated to community service, troop leader Mariann Huck said this week.
Each year, the girls of Troop 3131 change American flags on veterans’ graves in the Bolton Cemetery on Memorial Day, but this last year, weather prevented it. As a substitute activity to engender patriotism, the girls — along with local American Legion members — held a flag-burning ceremony. Plans are in place, however, to place new flags on graves this next Memorial Day.
Last fall, the girls volunteered for the annual community Election Day Dinner held at the Emmanuel United Methodist Church. The scouts helped prepare for the meal, waiting on tables and cleaning up afterwards.
The girls also helped out with providing an arts and crafts session for children in conjunction with Bolton’s holiday festival, as well as singing at the Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony.
They also helped mentor area children at a visit by Santa at the Bolton Firehouse, then went caroling around town afterwards — visiting local folks, primarily those homebound.
In October, the scouts of Troop 3131 volunteered at Up Yonda Farm for the educational facility’s Haunted Trails attraction — for the 3rd consecutive year.
Recently, the scouts spent most of a day snow-tubing at West Mountain, an exhilarating experience followed by a pizza dinner.
“The girls had a such a great time,” Huck said.
The members of Troop 3131 have also completed solicitation for Girl Scout cookies, as well as their “Be a Reader” campaign, through which they encourage reading by marketing magazine subscriptions.
One aspect of Troop 3131 cookie sales undoubtedly brings some cheer to hearts of those who otherwise might be bypassed. A good number of people who bought cookies didn’t do so for their own consumption, but for the goodies to be sent overseas to U.S. soldiers on duty.
Several dozen cookies will be sent out in a few weeks by Troop 3131 to these soldiers, showing them that people back home are thinking about them and appreciate their vigilance in defending freedom.
Another activity the girls have undertaken for years has been cleaning up litter and trash along Lake Shore Drive — Bolton’s main street — in observing Earth Day.
This annual service project of theirs has received recognition from others, Huck said this week.
“Merchants and local residents have told us how much they appreciate the Main Street cleanup — how it really demonstrates how much the girls care for their hometown community,” she said.
The scouts of Troop 3131 also know how to just simply have fun.
Over the next few weeks, they’ll be deciding their next destination for a getaway this summer — either in Old Forge or Lake Placid — at Enchanted Forest Water Safari, or at the Olympic facilities and Mirror Lake, respectively.
The troop has plans to reach out to others even more this year, delving into activities they’ve enjoyed in prior years, including visits to nursing homes and preparing Christmas baskets to bring holiday cheer to local needy families.
In 2012, the girls held a pajama party with patients at Westmount nursing home, and fixed up a basket of food for a local family at Thanksgiving.
“These girls are all about helping out the community they love,” Huck said. “They really enjoy bringing happiness into others’ lives.”
Huck continued that she’s really proud of the Troop 3131 members and their academic achievements, their participation in extracurricular activities including sports and the arts, and their other involvements that demonstrate their commitment to serving others.
“The greater Bolton Landing community can be really proud of them,” she said.
Warrensburg’s Girl Scouts are active
In Warrensburg, Troop 3426 is involved in an array of activities, including a variety of community service efforts, as well as gaining new life-skills, troop leader Patricia Miller said this week.
The girls have collected food for the local food pantry to help families who are experiencing financially stressful circumstances. They helped boost town pride by decorating the town Christmas tree.
Additionally, they helped tend the town’s community garden, from which healthy fresh produce is donated to the local food pantry for people in need.
Also the girls participated in the beloved traditional fest, Christmas in Warrensburg, by helping conduct the tree-lighting ceremony and holding a bake sale, Miller said this week.
Also, this next week the scouts will be helping out at Thurman’s beloved annual Jackwax Party, at which they will be hosting activities for children, as well as assisting with chores.
“We’re trying to bring back the small-town community feel, participating in the older traditions,” she said.
The girls of Troop 3426 have also taken some interesting trips in 2013, which incorporated educational aspects with the excitement that accompanies visiting new places.
The scouts visited Boston — touring the historic Faneuil Hall and shopping at the adjoining marketplace. In this trip they also experienced the aquatic wonders of the New England Aquarium.
Back at home, they’ve been working on increasing their camping and self-reliance skills as well as pursuing more sedate activities, including like learning how to knit.
The members of Troop 3426 mentored 10 younger Girl Scouts of local Troop 3207 as they held their “Bridging” ceremony Feb. 15 in Richards Library’s new community room. By meeting the requirements of their organization, the girls passed a milestone in their scouting career. After the ceremony. the members of Troop 3426 socialized with the younger girls, celebrating their step forward in scouting by enjoying “Pajama Day” at the library, watching a movie among other activities.
This next week, Troop 3426 will be conducting a cookie sale to raise money for their activities. The sale is to be held from 9 a.m. until noon Saturday March 15 at the Warrensburg Stewart’s Shop.
Later this year, they’ll doubtlessly be joining their counterparts from other communities in the region for camping and social events.
The members of Girl Scout Troop 3426 are already well-versed in camping skills, particularly handling adverse situations. It was only a year and a half ago that at a mass Girl Scout campout that they experienced three days of bone-chiling rain, cold weather and stiff winds. In this experience, gale-force wind and rain blew their tents over.
Miller said she and other Girl Scout leaders in the region were committed to strengthening the organization in town, so more children can experience the benefits while learning vital life lessons.
“We are committed to building up membership numbers — recruiting new scouts and leaders,” she said.
Already, there are several new troops in Warrensburg Elementary School, accommodating children from Kindergarten through 4th grade.
Traditionally, the Scouts in Warrensburg Central’s upper elementary and junior high levels have been quite active. Over recent decades, they’ve spent time with elderly in nursing homes, created valentines for soldiers and veterans — and collected toys and clothes to brighten holidays for local families.
Lake George scouts enjoy varied pursuits
The Girl Scouts in neighboring Lake George have traditionally enjoyed a wide range of both fun and character-building experiences.
Trips to national attractions, participation in campouts and social gatherings have in recent years been balanced by a wide variety of community service activities as well as educational experiences.
A year and a half ago, the scouts of Troop 3592 in Lake George focused on spreading messages about teens and pre-teens developing personal responsibility toward others. One remarkable achievement was their scripting and production of a YouTube video which conveyed a powerful anti-bullying message to their peers.
Girl Scouting is evolving and now offering a myriad of new opportunities, regional scouting official Erin Trombley said this week.
“Girl Scouting is fun, makes a difference in the community and gives girls leadership skills that help them be successful in life,” she said.
We at Denton Publications offer our congratulations to the Girl Scouts and scout leaders of the region who dedicate their time and talents toward improving the lives of others and fostering a greater sense of community!