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Hurricane Matthew and Hurricane Awareness Patch Program

November 30, 2016

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By: Myra Walters, Girl Scout Troop Co-Leader

Girl Scout Troop Co-Leader Myra Walters shares how Hurricane Matthew affected her troop and shines a light on the strength and powerful impact of the Girl Scout sisterhood during times of difficulty.

On October 7th the rain started as the news came that Hurricane Matthew would be hitting North Carolina on October 8th.

Troop 17 had just completed the requirements at the end of September for the Hurricane Awareness Patch.  We learned how to track the hurricane, what the different categories meant, how to pack a preparedness kit, and develop an evacuation plan.  We also created a collage of previous hurricane destruction that occurred in other states so we knew what the aftermath could look like.  We were ready I thought until I lived through Hurricane Matthew and listened to the stories from my Girl Scouts of their experiences.

It’s October 8th and the rains continue, the winds whip, water starts to rise, trees begin to fall, and the power goes out.  Okay, we learned about all this, but it seems like the water is rising fast. Then the warnings came to evacuate areas due to flooding, but we can’t get our vehicles out so boats come to rescue us.  You grab what you can carry and leave in the middle of a dark rainy night praying for safety.  You see cars getting washed away, people stranded on their roofs and hear calls for help.  We make it to a shelter of crowded, scared strangers, all wondering if our home will be there when this is over.

The night has ended and daylight has approached, and we hear the news of areas that are completely flooded, roads are closed, trees are down, and some people have died or are missing.  One of my Brownie Scouts asked her mom if they were homeless.

Were we prepared for all this devastation?  No matter how much you read or see on TV what a hurricane can do, it will never prepare you until you experience it.

As we face the challenge with God’s strength to recover and try to put some normalcy back in our lives, my troop has been a great example of the Girl Scout Law in the following ways:

  • Courageous and strong to face the storm and its devastation
  • Considerate and caring, friendly and helpful as we worked in different communities helping to clean up, serve food, and pass out supplies.
  • Using resources wisely when the water supply was cut off, and we had to use ditch water to flush toilets.
  • Respect for others and authority when we were told to evacuate and were rescued by Emergency personnel.
  • Making the world a better place as we pull together as sisters to put communities back together.

We would like to give a big shout out of thanks to Girl Scout Troops 1458, 1804, 1013, 1864 led by these Great Leaders: Brenda Ramsey, Shanika Reaves, Kimberly McClure,  Jerial Bogan, and volunteer of Evelyn Baskervill of Cumberland County. They demonstrated what Girl Scout Sisterhood is all about. They reached out to my troop and collected and purchased a huge amount of clothes, shoes, school supplies and toiletries for us, in addition to their kind gesture to adopt my girls that lost everything for Christmas.

This is one patch program that we will never forget.

 

 

 

 

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Commemorative Celebrations: December

November 28, 2016

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By: Tara Rappleye, Program Director

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! December is full of so many wonderful holidays to celebrate and there are also other commemorative days to recognize as well! This month our featured commemorative celebrations include bit of history tied to North Carolina and Girl Scouts, an extra sweet day to enjoy with your troop, and the opportunity to learn more about human rights and bring awareness of the day. Make sure to take time to celebrate these days during the holiday season!

Wright Brothers Day

On December 17, 1903 the Wright Brothers became the first to fly in our very own state of North Carolina. The Wright Brothers built a plane that flew for around 12 seconds near Kitty Hawk in the Outer Banks. You can celebrate this great North Carolina accomplishment and learn more about the history of flying on December 17.

  • Female Aviators- Take time this month to learn more about many of the impressive female aviators in history. In a time that women weren’t given the opportunity to be as adventurous, many female aviators defied the norms and took to the sky. A few female aviators you may want to research are Amelia Earhart and Tiny Broadwick (born in Granville County).
  • Paper Plane Contest- Now perhaps your troop isn’t ready to take on flying a plane, but that doesn’t mean they can’t build one! Grab a ream of paper and get folding, it’s time for a paper plane contest. See whose plane can sail the furthest. Not sure how to start folding- check out this link!

National Brownie Day

The rest of the nation may be celebrating the brownie dessert on December 8th, but we are Girl Scouts and the term Brownie means something a bit different to us! Whether you are Girl Scout Brownie or not you can still participate in National Brownie Day.

  • Brownie- Girl Scout Way Badge- For those who are Girl Scout Brownies, this is a great day to work on your Brownie- Girl Scout Way badge. Dive deeper into the sisterhood of Girl Scout Brownies and learn about our traditions and values. Explore the story of where the term Brownie came from in Girl Scouts and celebrate being a Girl Scout Brownie!
  • Brownie Bar- It wouldn’t be right to not celebrate National Brownie Day without eating the dessert! Set up a brownie bar for your troop. Get a bunch of toppings, like ice cream, fudge and sprinkles and then bake a pan of brownies. Let your troop get creative and make their own brownie creation.

Human Rights Day

Multiple lines in the Girl Scout Law relate to being kind to others. The foundation of our organization is built on supporting, respecting, and loving others so Human Rights Day on December 10 is the perfect time to celebrate each other and talk about human rights with your troop. To start the conversation about human rights try one of these activities with your troop:

  • Make a World Wish Dove- Print off this dove template and have each member of your troop write down their wishes for the world. It can be whatever they want or are aware of. After everyone has written down their wish, decorate the doves and talk about what each girl wrote. Each dove represents a beautiful hope for a better world.
  • Human Rights education- For a list of other activities that educate children about Human Rights check out this blog.

National Wear Pearls Day

Our founder, Juliette Gordon Low, paid for everything when she was starting the Girl Scouts. She used all her money to pay for badges, uniforms, supplies, and even office staff. When her money was running low Juliette sold her beautiful pearl necklace to help pay for Girl Scouts to continue on. December 15 is National Wear Pearls Day, since pearls are so important to Girl Scouts we wanted to celebrate the day!

  • Wear Pearls- Make sure you tell your troop the story of Juliette selling her pearls to help continue on Girl Scouts and then wear pearls in her honor on December 15!
  • Pearl SWAPS- Create SWAPS that represents the story of Juliette Gordon Low selling her pearls for Girl Scouts. Give out this SWAPS to another Girl Scout troop who doesn’t know the story of Juliette’s pearls.

Stay tuned for a New Year and new commemorative celebrations!

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