Local Girls Scouts finding safe ways to remain active

Jordyn Moore plants a tree while working to complete her Bronze Award program.

Social distancing has presented its share of challenges for folks in all walks of life.

It’s no different for our local Girl Scouts, who are kicking their problem-solving skills into overdrive to press on despite the COVID-19 outbreak. The young ladies from the Girl Scouts of the Southern Appalachians have managed to keep pursuing badges, completing projects and selling Girl Scout Cookies in a safe manner.

Five Girl Scouts recently did some work toward receiving the Bronze Award by planting over 100 donated saplings throughout Johnson City. In order to receive the Bronze Award, scouts must identify community problems and make plans to tackle them.

“At Girl Scouts, we learn stuff about how to make fires, set up a tent, and what to do in an emergency,” said Kaylee O’Quinn, a fourth-grader pursuing her Bronze Award. “I got a badge for engineering. Me and my friends programmed a robot to dance. Technically we programmed it to move around, back and forth, spin, and go forward and backward. In the future we can try to program a robot to pick up trash.”

The five local scouts were able to abide by social distancing mandates while planting the donated trees in different locations in Johnson City, including Camp Wildwood in Johnson City. The girls planted the trees either by themselves or in small groups to limit contact.

Hannah Charles

“I think having trees is important for more oxygen,” said Hannah Charles, a fourth-grade scout who helped plant trees. “At Girl Scouts, we get a partner or a group to work on a big project like this.”

Planting trees was O’Quinn’s idea, and fellow scout Jordyn Moore said it gained the support of the whole troop.

“For the Girl Scout Bronze Award, we brainstormed ideas at home and presented them to the troop and voted,” Moore said. “We voted on Kaylee’s idea because it would help our whole town and state.”

The local Girl Scout council is also hosting “Virtual Girl Scout” courses online, which allow girls to earn their hiker, balloon car design and other badges via the council’s Facebook page.

And scouts are still able to sell their iconic cookies, albeit online. Cookies can be purchased through a link at the Girl Scouts of the Southern Appalachians website: www.girlscoutcsa.org. Proceeds from the sales will allow scouts to pay for their own uniforms and badges, and purchase supplies for community service projects and other activities.

Consumers can purchase cookies for delivery at a later date when it is safe to do so, or may purchase cookies to donate to first responders, healthcare workers, military members or assisted living centers.


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