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
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.