The concept of sisterhood far exceeds blood lines, as nearly any female will tell you.
And, the recent efforts by a troop of Casa Grande Girl Scouts helps solidify that notion.
After Brownie and Daisy Scouts in Troop 306 talked about the devastation wreaked by Superstorm Sandy and learned that Girl Scouts from throughout the United States were finding ways to pitch in and help people who lost their homes and possessions in the major storm, they too decided to help.
Daisies are the youngest scouts — kindergartners and first-graders — and Brownies are the next level — first- and second-graders. The girls in Troop 306 range in age from 6 to 8 — fairly young by most standards. But their young age is no deterrent for this group of girls when it comes to tackling big projects, their leader Lisa Clegg says.
When the chief executive officer of the Girl Scouts of the USA sent out a request that scouts from across the county gather blankets to be distributed to Sandy victims, Clegg told her scouts about the Give a Sister a Blanket project.
The girls immediately liked the idea. They started talking about how to get blankets. First they talked about each girl bringing in a blanket. They talked about the troop buying one blanket. Then one girl pointed out that every meeting, the scouts pay their 25-cent dues and use that money for various projects. They all agreed to dedicate their dues for several meetings to buy a blanket from Troop 306, plus to each buy a blanket to donate to victims.
After the new blankets were brought to Clegg’s house, she gathered the pile of 14 blankets and hauled them to the Girl Scouts’ council office in Tucson.
When she toted in her good-sized donation and was directed to the drop-off bins, Clegg said she could hardly believe what she saw.
“Their foyer was filled with boxes — giant boxes like you see watermelons in at the grocery store — and the boxes were filled with blankets,” Clegg said. All the blankets had been donated by southern Arizona Girl Scouts — 894 total.
Troops had also donated toiletries and hats, she said. Troop 306 scouts made cards to send along with their blankets, as did other troops.
The blankets have been distributed to Girl Scouts and their families in the eastern United States, Clegg said.
Troop 306 scouts haven’t heard back from any recipients of their blankets, but the girls are optimistic they will get a note.
Nonetheless, Brownie Jenna Clegg confidently said, “they’re going to like them a lot. I hope they enjoy the blankets and write to us.”
After all, Jenna and Brownie Savannah Myers said, “every Girl Scout is a sister.”
The blankets demonstrate that sisterly love, Brownie Kylie Maretech said.
Lisa Clegg tries to have as many of Troop 306’s projects be “girl-led” as possible. That’s a new nationwide effort within Girl Scouts, she said.
“These girls are 6-to-9-year-olds,” Clegg said. “They don’t always know everything that’s going on in the world.” So, Girl Scout leaders talk about national issues with their scouts and let the girls decide how, or if, to get involved with projects.
Clegg is understandably proud of her scouts.
“I’ve been really impressed with these girls,” she said. “They have great ideas and they’re good about helping others. They like to get into community service and they’re always willing to do good work.”
The blanket drive was just one of the community service projects Troop 306 has tackled recently.
The girls have spent their last several meetings building and decorating cardboard Christmas trees to be used as tabletop centerpieces at the Knights of Columbus Christmas dinner on Saturday at St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church.
And, they recently finished making “poppers,” gift-wrapped cardboard rolls filled with candy that are donated to the Salvation Army and attached to Christmas gifts the Salvation Army distributes through its Angel Tree program.