This city just passed an antismoking law. It’s the brainchild of a Girl Scout troop.

Democracy Dies in Darkness Sections Home Subscribe Username Sign In Account Profile Newsletters & Alerts Gift Subscriptions Contact Us Help Desk Subscribe Account Profile Newsletters & Alerts Gift Subscriptions Contact Us Help Desk Accessibility for screenreader Inspired Life by Allison Klein by Allison Klein Email the author March 9 at 2:45 PM Email the author The Girl Scout troop poses after the Aurora City Council passes their law. From left, Sofia Aarestad, 14, Micaela Morrill, 14, Julianna Martin, 13, Amelia Malchow, 13, and Makenna Batcho, 13. (AnneMarie Harper) A Girl Scout troop in Colorado studied the effects of smoking and wanted to do something about secondhand smoke. So the teens approached their troop leader and told her they wanted to write a law and propose it to the Aurora City Council to limit smoking, specifically banning lighting up in cars when kids are present. “It was out of the blue,” said troop leader Kristen Batcho, who works in finance and does not have any political or legislative experience. “I said, ‘We’ve never done this before.’ ” But she quickly decided: Why not? And thus begins the story of how the Aurora City Council outlawed adults smoking in cars with minors. The law took effect last week, with violators facing mandatory community service. “I’m not a sentimental guy, but it gave me a real renewed faith in the youth of our country,” said Aurora City Council member Charles Richardson, who met with the five-girl troop every few weeks for about a year and helped them write the law. The girls, who are 13 and 14, got some help from the council member’s legal team, too. Troop members speaking to the Aurora City Council. From left, Makenna Batcho, Amelia Malchow, Micaela Morrill, Julianna Martin, Sofia Aarestad. (Michele Malchow) The vote was a nail-biter, with Mayor Steve Hogan Continue Reading

Homeless girls in NYC have a Girl Scout troop

Homelessness is incredibly devastating, especially for children. And sadly, rates of homelessness have increased lately, with a recent report showing that about 1 in 30 children is homeless. Along with the danger and deprivation that can accompany not having a home, we tend to forget that homelessness also means that children do not have access to quintessential childhood experiences, like playing, or being part of Girl Scout or Boy Scout troop. Luckily, an amazing woman named Giselle Burgess just created the first Girl Scout troop for homeless girls in New York City. Troop 6000 is made up of 21 girls who are homeless, all of whom currently reside in a shelter in Queens. Burgess, who was once homeless herself, decided to form the troop in order to help bring opportunities, fun and community spirit to the lives of these young girls. Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer has supported Burgess in this worthy endeavor, and he had this to say to the New York Times about Troop 6000: “It’s just about the most right thing I’ve ever been a part of.” Thanks to Burgess and her hard work, these young girls have been able to participate in many wonderful activities. Here they are proudly taking the Girl Scout Pledge: If you want to help support this worthy cause, you can go to the Girl Scouts website and donate. You can ensure that your donation goes to Troop 6000 by selecting “Girl Scouts in NYC Shelters.” The Troop 6000 Girl Scouts have many big dreams, including becoming doctors, fashion designers and athletes. Some even say that their goal is to help homeless people when they grow up. You can really see how meaningful the Girl Scouts organization is in these young girls’ lives. It’s awesome to see that people like Giselle Burgess have ensured that these deserving girls can be a part of the Girl Scout family. [h/t: Hello Giggles] This story originally appeared on TheDelite. Checkout TheDelite for other great tips and ideas to make the Continue Reading

Girl Scout troop to give presentation on pet therapy

By Nathaniel Percy | [email protected] | Orange County RegisterJanuary 29, 2018 at 3:56 pm Cadette Girl Scout Troop 2352, of Ladera Ranch, will be holding a presentation on therapy animals to teach residents about the benefits of pet therapy and how to get involved from 3 to 4 p.m., Feb. 13 at Ladera Ranch Middle School, 29551 Sienna Parkway. The event is free and open to all ages. Pet therapy teams will be at the event to share their personal experiences and those in attendance will have the opportunity to meet the animals. Information: Ivy Moroson at [email protected] Continue Reading

Council Bluffs homeless shelter to start Girl Scout troop; ‘Our doors are open and we love cookies!’

Girls staying at a Council Bluffs homeless shelter soon will have the opportunity to be Girl Scouts, complete with the sash, the badges and the cookie sales. The idea to start a troop at Micah House developed in July, when executive director Jaymes Sime read an article in the New York Times. The story was about a Girl Scout troop expanding to 15 homeless shelters across New York City. Sime posted the article on the Micah House’s Facebook page and tagged the Girl Scouts of Greater Iowa with the message, “Let’s make this happen in Council Bluffs, IA! Our doors are open and we love cookies!” About a month later, Girl Scouts of Greater Iowa contacted Sime and the plan was launched. In November, the Pottawattamie Youth Council awarded a $1,000 grant to get the troop started. Outside of New York City, Micah House is one of the first homeless shelters to host a troop, said Antoinette Bernich, chief marketing and communications officer of Girl Scouts of Greater Iowa. “We are thrilled,” Bernich said. “If it goes well, we would love to replicate it in other shelters.” Last year, Micah House served more than 130 girls ages 5 to 17 — the age range for Girl Scouts. On average, families stay at the shelter for about a month. With meetings at least once a week, girls staying at the shelter will at least get an introduction to Girl Scouts and have a place to meet other girls in their situation, Sime said. “Giving them the opportunity to be part of it could add that confidence and courage for these young girls who’ve experienced a great deal of trauma,” Sime said. “I want them to know that being in the shelter is a life circumstance but it doesn’t limit their potential.” Sime said he hopes to give the girls as much of the scouting experience as he can — they will have sashes and get the opportunity to earn badges as a group. Through the Cookie Express program, they will Continue Reading

Some Midlanders celebrate Boy Scouts’ outreach to females, but Girl Scout troop leader still backs separate programming

Maria Reiter — a Girl Scout troop leader in Bellevue for 17 years — heard the news Wednesday: The Boy Scouts of America plans to integrate girls into its programs starting next year. Her reaction, like that of Nebraska’s Girl Scouts group, was one of continued commitment to the “girl-focused” programming offered in Girl Scouts. Meanwhile, local Boy Scouts leaders like Justin Short, an assistant scoutmaster for Boy Scout Troop 405 in Omaha, celebrated the decision as one that will expand the Boy Scouts’ membership and offer more convenience for parents. Under the plan that Boy Scouts of America announced Wednesday, Cub Scout dens — the smallest unit — will be single-gender, either all-boys or all-girls. The larger Cub Scout packs will have the option to remain single-gender or welcome both genders. A program for older girls is expected to start in 2019 and will enable girls to earn the coveted rank of Eagle Scout. The Boy Scouts board of directors, which approved the plan unanimously in a meeting at BSA headquarters in Texas, said the change was needed to provide more options for parents. “We believe it is critical to evolve how our programs meet the needs of families interested in positive and lifelong experiences for their children,” said Michael Surbaugh, the BSA’s chief scout executive. Surveys conducted by the Boy Scouts showed strong support for the change among parents not currently connected to the Scouts, including Hispanic and Asian families that the BSA has been trying to attract. Among families already in the Scouting community, the biggest worry, according to Surbaugh, was that the positive aspects of single-sex comradeship might be jeopardized. “We’ll make sure those environments are protected,” he said. “What we’re presenting is a fairly unique hybrid model.” During the outreach, some parents expressed concern about possible problems Continue Reading

Woman claims Texas Girl Scout troop members were sexually harassed during the Sun Bowl

By William Axford Updated 11:27 am, Monday, January 8, 2018 window._taboola = window._taboola || []; _taboola.push({ mode: 'thumbnails-c', container: 'taboola-interstitial-gallery-thumbnails-5', placement: 'Interstitial Gallery Thumbnails 5', target_type: 'mix' }); _taboola.push({flush: true}); window._taboola = window._taboola || []; _taboola.push({ mode: 'thumbnails-c', container: 'taboola-interstitial-gallery-thumbnails-10', placement: 'Interstitial Gallery Thumbnails 10', target_type: 'mix' }); _taboola.push({flush: true}); window._taboola = window._taboola || []; _taboola.push({ mode: 'thumbnails-c', container: 'taboola-interstitial-gallery-thumbnails-15', placement: 'Interstitial Gallery Thumbnails 15', target_type: 'mix' }); _taboola.push({flush: true}); window._taboola = window._taboola || []; _taboola.push({ mode: 'thumbnails-c', container: 'taboola-interstitial-gallery-thumbnails-20', placement: 'Interstitial Gallery Thumbnails 20', target_type: 'mix' }); _taboola.push({flush: true}); window._taboola = window._taboola || []; _taboola.push({ mode: 'thumbnails-c', container: 'taboola-interstitial-gallery-thumbnails-25', placement: 'Interstitial Gallery Thumbnails 25', target_type: 'mix' }); _taboola.push({flush: true}); window._taboola = window._taboola || []; _taboola.push({ mode: 'thumbnails-c', container: 'taboola-interstitial-gallery-thumbnails-30', placement: 'Interstitial Gallery Thumbnails 30', target_type: 'mix' }); _taboola.push({flush: true}); window._taboola = window._taboola || []; _taboola.push({ mode: 'thumbnails-c', container: 'taboola-interstitial-gallery-thumbnails-35', placement: 'Interstitial Gallery Thumbnails 35', target_type: 'mix' }); _taboola.push({flush: true}); window._taboola = window._taboola || []; _taboola.push({ mode: 'thumbnails-c', container: 'taboola-interstitial-gallery-thumbnails-40', placement: 'Interstitial Gallery Thumbnails 40', target_type: 'mix' }); Continue Reading

Meet Tennessee’s first-ever Girl Scout troop for homeless girls

​​​​ For Nevaeh Mobley, it often wasn't safe to play outside.Even as her parents sometimes sat with the door open at night, letting in the fresh air at their long-term hotel room rental, they wouldn't let Nevaeh or her brother on the threshold."The kids could not go outside after dark," dad Carlos Mobley Sr. said. "Because of all the unsavory extra-curricular activities going on. I didn't want it around my kids."For four years, the family of four shared a single hotel room in the Hermitage Inn with two double beds, a small fridge and a bathroom.They pawned TVs, wedding rings, a couple of gaming systems from better times in order to pay for the hotel at first. Later, they found other ways.They brought in a crock pot and a deep fryer for family meals. They did their best to make their situation feel secure. But nighttime felt isolating for the kids, and — with gunshots and drug deals on the other side of that door — at times, frightening.Things needed to change.A little more than a year ago, it did. The Mobley family moved into Safe Haven Family Shelter where they found the safety and support systems they needed, and an opportunity they never expected — a chance for Nevaeh to become part of Tennessee's first-ever Girl Scout troop for homeless girls.All of the members of Nashville's Troop 6000 live or once lived at Safe Haven, a small housing unit on the south side of the city that provides a temporary home for families in need.The troop is modeled after a similar troop launched earlier this year in New York City. It is one of just a handful across the country.Through the patch-earning and cookie-selling tradition, Troop 6000 offers a consistent place in an often unsettled situation, a spot for the girls to go without worry for a little while."Our past lifestyles are kind of rough and ragged," Nevaeh's mom, Debra Stewart said. But, Nevaeh’s father adds, Continue Reading

Mom embezzles nearly $10,000 from Girl Scout troop in Georgia

A Georgia mom stole almost $10,000 from her daughter's Girl Scout troop and splashed the cash on a senior dating service, police have said. Darlene Jo Lewis, 49, is accused of embezzling a total of $9,805.42 from Douglasville's Troop 798 — where she helped out as treasurer because her daughter attended. She also spent the money — taken between April 2010 and January 2011 — on her son and gifts, cops claim. The alleged theft was discovered when a new troop leader found financial irregularities in the records and contacted police. Lewis was arrested on Friday and faces felony theft-by-taking charges. She was released from Douglas County Jail on $9,800 bond. The troop was forced to close following the discovery, Capt. JR Davidson told Douglas County Sentinel. "It took the investigator a while to get all the financial records from all the banks because he had to go back so far in time," Davidson added.   Join the Conversation: Continue Reading

Girl Scouts troops disband after chapter says it will allow transgendered 7-year-old

Leaders of three troops of Girl Scouts quit their posts and disbanded the troops after the organization’s Colorado chapter said it would allow a transgendered 7-year-old to join. The troop leaders, all affiliated with a Christian school in Louisiana, resigned in protest of the Colorado chapter’s decision to allow participation from any child who identifies as a girl, The Christian Post reported. Controversy erupted when Felisha Archuleta tried to enroll her son, Bobby Montoya, who identifies as a girl, in a Girl Scouts troop in Denver. When a local troop leader refused, saying Bobby wasn’t allowed to join because he had “boy parts,” Archuleta appealed to the leadership of the Colorado chapter, the mother previously told the Daily News. The organization reviewed the troop leader’s decision and opted to enforce its policy of inclusion for transgendered children, The Christian Post reported. “If a child identifies as a girl and the child’s family presents her as a girl, Girl Scouts of Colorado welcomes her as a Girl Scout,” the chapter said in a statement. Rachelle Trujillo, vice president of communication for Girl Scouts of Colorado, added that the troops “don’t require any proof of gender,” the Christian Post reported. Archuleta never enrolled Bobby in the Colorado troop, but the troop leaders in Louisiana were furious over the chapter’s ruling. Susan Bryant-Snure, one of the leaders who resigned, called the decision “extremely confusing” and said it could create an “almost dangerous situation” for other children, according to The Christian Post. “This goes against what we believe,” she said. Join the Conversation: Continue Reading

Girl Scout troop creates cookie drive-through in New Hampshire

What smart cookies! A New Hampshire Girl Scout troop created a cookie drive-through to boost sales. Troop 12115 of Salem converted a warehouse on bustling Main St. into a cookie haven Sunday, allowing customers to get their hands on the in-demand boxes of treats like Trefoils without leaving the warmth of their cars. The troop hopes to sell 5,000 boxes this year and had already peddled 1,200 boxes before the drive-through was set up, WMUR reported. The enterprising girls are not the first to set up such a convenient cookie marketplace. A Milwaukee, Wisc., group ran a drive-through Feb. 27. Cookie lovers outside New Hampshire need not worry about getting their Tagalongs or Samoas fix: the Girl Scouts have instituted an online marketplace. They may have to wait for their Thin Mints orders though, after high demand created a shortage. Join the Conversation: Continue Reading