From the left, Abby Burke, Brooklyn Oldehoeft and Chezney Kanode are pictured with some of the items they purchased to donate.
Exeter Girl Scout Troop 20703 recently took advantage of the season of giving to experience their own version of sharing.
The three scouts, Chezney Kanode, Abby Burke and Brooklyn Oldehoeft went with their leader, Kendra Oldehoeft to a local big box store after school on Monday, December 11.
The girls were able to pick and choose items off the giving tree at the store to purchase.
After the girls picked the giving ornaments for girls they shopped for the items. According to Oldehoeft, the girls were a little nervous about picking items but she encouraged them to “get what they would like. They were picking items for girls who were the same age as them.”
Each year the girls make a huge effort to raise funds selling girl scout cookies. They use the funds to pay for their year of scouting and make sure to include activities where they can experience benevolence.
Two years ago the troop chose a family from Blue Valley to bless with a donation of needed items for Christmas. This time they decided to go with something closer to home, “We talked about how it would be fun to have someone their age getting the stuff,” according to Oldehoeft.
This experience has been great for the girls, “It is interesting to see the girls bloom throughout the year. I feel like they naturally have a more community service mindset and service project conversations don’t have to be led as much by the adults. The girls have been picking up on that importance themselves.”
The girls enjoyed the experience reporting that it was “Fun to go shopping for someone,” explained Brooklyn.
While this service project didn’t specifically go toward completing a badge, Oldehoeft felt like it gives helps so much more than a badge, “It gives them a wider view of being a part of our community or of our world. There is a badge they could earn but we try to do activities throughout the year that are community based because it helps to show the girls it is a lifestyle choice instead of a one-time thing for a specific purpose.”
Oldehoeft explained that the Girl Scout program has so many benefits for the girls, “It gives them a good exposure to a variety of elements that are in our world that maybe they wouldn’t get otherwise. It can spark interest that could stick with them for a lifetime.”
The Exeter-Milligan girl scouts will begin selling cookies in February to fund programs and learning experiences just like this.