Future Leaders Visit WVLS Studio

“My name is Ellie Lambert”

“Alethia Robertson”

“Brooke Williams”

“Daisy Moyers”

“Makynly Smith”

“Ashlynn Minnigh”

“I’m Lauren Mason”

“My name is Adelaide Baxter”

Those are some of the young ladies of Girl Scout Troop 429, which is based in Highland County, and who recently visited the WVLS studio. I spoke to their troop leaders to find out more.

“I’m Mary Dowdy and I am the service unit manager for the Girl Scouts in Highland County.”

“And I’m Tammy Minnigh, and I’m the troop leader for our Brownie/ Junior Troop 429. We have girls in third, fourth and fifth grade.”

“In Girl Scouts, there are six levels of Scouting. Our earliest Scouts are Daisy Girl Scouts, and they are girls that are in K and One. Then Brownie Girl Scouts are in grades two and three. Junior Girl Scouts are in four and five. Cadettes Girl Scouts are six, seven, and eight. Senior Girl Scouts are nine and 10 and Ambassadors are 11th and 12th graders. In Highland County, right now, we have between 35 and 40 active Girl Scouts.”

They walked me through a typical meeting.

“Our troop meets at the Monterey United Methodist Church, right in the center of town. And the girls, most of them come on the bus from school, right after school on Mondays. And we start with doing a little Brownie and Junior Scouts opening ceremony – so we have the girls walk into a semi-circle, and they do the Pledge of Allegiance, they do the Girl Scout pledge. Then we sit and we do attendance, and we collect dues, and then we have a snack, and then we do whatever our program for the day is.”

“This week we decorated gingerbread houses, which we do pretty much every year, and then we put them on display at the church during Wintertide. So it’s a fun thing for the girls to do, and it also helps decorate the church, since the church lets us use the space for Girl Scouts.”

Not all activities take place at the church.

“We sometimes do things, like visit the radio station, that is more just educational about what’s available here in our county. We also sometimes do trips that have to do with different badges we’re trying to earn. Like our troop is earning their first aid badge, so we had the rescue squad actually brought an ambulance to the church, and showed the girls that ambulance, and did a lot of information on first aid. And then another week, we walked over and the Medical Center gave us a tour of all the different things that go on, just to give the girls a better education about what’s available here in town, and also what to do in case there was an emergency.”

And trips are not just confined to within the county.

“One of the highlights of being a Girl Scout is we do a lot of traveling. We do raise a lot of money – it usually cost the girl very little out of her own pocket to travel. We have been to Savannah, Georgia, eight times in my term as a Girl Scout leader, and that’s where Juliette Low, the founder of Girl Scouts, was born and raised. So we try to visit there every few years, so every Girl Scout gets a chance to go there.”

“We have taken numerous trips to Washington DC – there’s so much to see there, and it’s actually free once you get there. We’ve also traveled to Pennsylvania, New York and several other places like that.”

“We welcome all girls from five to 18 to become Girl Scouts in Highland County. To become a Girl Scout, there is a registration that you need to go through, and I would gladly help you with that. You can call me a 468-2356, or you can email me at mghdowdy@gmail.com.”

“We also look for adult volunteers. And as an adult volunteer, you do need to register as a Girl Scout. And then you’re eligible to go on any outing, help at any meeting – stay at a sleepover if you want as long as you’re a registered adult. And we’re always looking for help, and the rewards of that is so great because it is fun, not only for the girls, but for you also, as an adult.”

I asked about the benefits of becoming a Girl Scout.

“The main thing with girls is teaching them to be leaders – leaders in our community, leaders in our state, and in our country. And that has to begin at a very early age. Also, I think we try to instill the girls to give back – we do a lot of community service things too. So we try to instill them that yes, we like to do things and things for us, but we also like to give back to our community, and that one day they’ll be the leaders in our country.”

Story By

Scott Smith

Scott Smith is the General Manager for Allegheny Mountain Radio and Station Coordinator and News Reporter for WVLS. Scott’s family has deep roots in Highland County. While he did not grow up here, he spent as much time as possible on the family farm, and eventually moved to Highland to continue the tradition, which he still pursues with his cousin. Unfortunately, farming doesn’t pay all the bills, so he has previously taken other jobs to support his farming hobby, including pressman/writer for The Recorder, and Ag Projects Coordinator for The Highland Center. He lives in Hightown with wife Michelle and son Ethan. In his spare time, he wishes he had more spare time, especially to ride his prized Harley-Davidson motorcycle. scott@amrmail.org

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