Service Unit 655 in Elkridge, MD is experiencing a Girl Scout renaissance. Service Unit Managers Katina Denikos and Maria Moy have been building up the Girl Scout community in Elkridge and advocating for lots of community-wide events for troops. In addition, they are inspiring troops to interact with each other by offering a custom-made patch called The Sisterhood Patch with requirements that include participating in ceremonies, outings, and service projects as well as having older girls working with young girls in various ways.
Katina has always shared the management of her troop. The moms in her troop, including Maria, have always been asked to serve in a role that helps make the troop successful. There are so many troop jobs to do: troop cookie manager, co-leader, snacks, field trip coordinator, treasurer, back-up adult at meetings, first aider, camp-trained, etc.
This year, they asked each troop in Service Unit 655 to provide a volunteer who would serve in a Service Unit leadership role or lead one special event. Leadership roles such as SU Manager, SU Cookie Manager, SU Cookie Booth Sale Coordinator, SU Treasurer, and SU Registrar are very important roles that have been filled most years. This year they had a combination of new leaders stepping up: Reggi Davis, Junior Troop 10200 leader and Missy Lemke from Troop 5915 worked together as SUCMs and Lora Rosenberger, Brownie Troop 1099 leader served as BSC. Liz Esker, from Cadette Troop 226 returned as Registrar and Katina Denikos, Ambassador Troop 4768 leader returned as SUM. Meg Ricks, leader of Brownie Troop 59131 wanted to be the Treasurer and Maria Moy from Troop 4768 joined her long-time pal as co-SUM.
A Great Start
Brownie Troop 5915 held a clothing drive as a service project for SU 655. For their kick-off event, over 30 Girl Scouts and family members gathered to make posters for collection boxes that they planned to put in local schools. They also sorted and boxed up donated clothes and coats that people brought that night. Ashley Reed, Troop 5915 leader, was amazed that they collected over 35 large boxes of clothes in addition to 4 large boxes of canned food.
Brownie Troop 1099 hosted an Investiture Ceremony for the whole service unit. New Girl Scouts and new leaders were welcomed to Girl Scouting. Returning Girl Scouts and leaders rededicated their love of Girl Scouting. Leader Lora Rosenberger set up a Sign-up Genius for each troop to RSVP and sign up to bring an item for a special trail mix. Each returning troop added an ingredient while reading a witty message, such as, “With our words and actions, we show that we care. We try to do our best to be fair and square.” This was read while adding Chex cereal to the bowl.
Melissa Corona, a new Daisy leader for Troop 5203, planned a Holiday Sing-Along at Lorien, a local nursing center. The Daisies and older Girl Scouts were excited about caroling for the seniors.
Senior Troop 231 reprised their role as Thinking Day Coordinators, this time as a fundraiser to help them in their quest to travel to Savannah, the birthplace of Girl Scouting. Troop 231 leader, Sherry Spause set up a website to post information and collect registrations. Several troops provided activities and food tasting stations to complement the special guests that Troop 231 invited. The kickoff activity was a game show called “Think Tank” in which girls competed to answer Girl Scouts/Girl Guides trivia questions.
And there’s more…
Senior Troop 1381 has some very adventurous girls and leaders! Leader Annmarie Gordon planned a fun outing for the Girl Scouts in SU655, roller-skating at Wheels in Odenton.
Junior Troop 5200 wanted to do a fundraiser for the service unit to provide funds for GSCM’s SHARE program. Barnes and Noble in Ellicott City agreed to donate a portion of their profits from one day of sales. Liz Hagen, Troop 5200 leader, wanted to attract more people to come and make purchases on that day, so she set up a Reading Night where girls entertained customers by reading books or their own original writings or sharing a talent.
Cadette Troop 2326 leaders Susan Sellner and Lauren Semanski, a mother-daughter dynamic duo, have a personal connection to a great event idea. Susan’s husband/Lauren’s dad is a professional square dance caller. He will be the emcee and dancing instructor for a fun event for scouts and families.
Troop 402 is a multi-age troop with Daisies and Brownies, and they are planning a fun event for the service unit too. Erin Cassell, Troop 402 mom and owner of “Roll Up and Dye” will provide materials and instruction for a tie-dying event for Girl Scouts from the Service Unit.
More events are in the works, including an environmental service project and a restaurant fundraiser to provide funds for SHARE!
Wrapping the year up
Service Unit 655 leaders want to keep the momentum going. At the end of the school year, they plan to have a community bridging ceremony. They want to celebrate the girls who have completed a Bronze, Silver, or Gold Award in a “Precious Metals Ceremony.” And they want to promote “Early Bird Registration” before summer break. Plans are already underway for the annual Camporee for all troops in their service unit. They have scheduled this camping trip for mid-September.