WASHINGTON TOWNSHIP | Girl Scouts from 35 troops in Valparaiso and Washington Township gathered Sunday afternoon at Washington Township High School for the 33rd annual Scouting Girls Style.
The event allows each troop to showcase an activity or craft with the purpose of joining together in sisterhood and bringing in new members.
“We want to let all of the girls share what they do in their troop with other girls, and we also want to bring in people from the community to show them what Girl Scouts is all about,” said Linda Beach, public relations officer who has been involved in Girl Scouts for 54 years.
“The theme this year is ‘Imagine the Future’ because last year Girl Scouts celebrated their 100th anniversary. This year we are starting a new century,” she said.
Many of the troops, which included Daisies, Brownies, Juniors, Cadets, Seniors and Ambassadors, used their craft or activity to not only communicate this theme, but to educate visitors.
“We are building things with reusable materials, like boxes and plastic bottles, to show girls how to make the world a better place, otherwise it will just fill up with garbage,” said 8-year-old Jemila Townsend, a Brownie with Troop 148, who says she loves scouting because she has good times with her friends.
Caellaigh Klemz, 17, an Ambassador with Troop 291, said showing younger girls that they can enjoy scouting well into their teens is part of their mission.
“We are like a group of sisters. We have a great support group with one another,” Klemz said, noting that the event is a good way to “see what other girls in the area are doing.”
Other displays included “Girls Today, Leaders Tomorrow,” which showed famous Girl Scout alumnae such as Lucille Ball and Hillary Clinton; 100 years of Girl Scout uniforms with actual uniforms from the 1960s through today; dream catcher construction using materials reclaimed from an automobile factory; and education about compact-fluorescent and LED lights.
Troop 171, led by Sharon Ahrendt, decided to involve community service in their display so they could prepare those in need for the future. They collected money to buy books for the Family House in Valparaiso.
“That’s what we want our girls to learn, that helping others is important, and this event has been really meaningful for them,” Ahrendt said.
Admission into the event, which also included food sales for trips and activities for the troops, was a donation of nonperishable food. The girls had collected more than 500 items during the course of the day, which will be given to the Food Pantry at the Central Christian Church.