Fort Sill Girl Scouts celebrate 101st birthday
March 21, 2013
FORT SILL, Okla. -- Girl Scouting goes back more than 100 years, and there has been a Girl Scout presence at Fort Sill since 1928.
The five Fort Sill Girl Scout troops celebrated the organization's 101st anniversary during Girl Scout Week March 10-16. About 95 Scouts, troop leaders and volunteers participated in activities ranging from a retreat ceremony to kite flying to an athletic day here.
"It's about leadership," said Melanie O'Neill, Troop 3037 co-leader, referring to the Girl Scout mission. "We're trying to develop girls who are self-confident and ready to explore their roles as leaders."
Tiffany Sarina, Troop 3037 co-leader, said Girl Scouting is not just about camping and cooking.
"It's business skills. Through cookie sales, the Girl Scouts learn budgeting, business managment, planning, marketing and public speaking," she said.
The activities during the week were organized and led by Cadet Scouts, who are sixth, seventh and eighth graders.
Activities began March 10, when Scouts were encouraged to wear their uniforms to church, O'Neill said. The following evening the Scouts hosted a singalong at the Girl Scout Hut near Rucker Park here. A group of Girl Scouts participated in the post retreat ceremony with Soldiers from A Battery, 1st Battalion, 40th Field Artillery March 12 -- the Girl Scout birthday. That evening they ceremoniously retired and disposed of worn U.S. flags. The next day they took advantage of the Oklahoma winds and flew kites at Polo Field. March 14 was a field day with the Girl Scout Olympics at Rucker Park. And, the next two days Girl Scouts manned cookie booths at the Main Post Exchange and commissary.
Cadet Scout Teresa Clark, age 14, helped organize many of those activities.
"I love how Girl Scouting is an opportunity to meet other girls, especially when they are new to a community," said Clark. "I really like how family it is."
Girl Scouts range from kindergarteners through high schoolers, said O'Neill.
Kindergarten and first graders are Daisy Scouts; Brownies are made up of second and third graders; Junior Scouts are fourth and fifth graders; and then there are the Cadets. Senior, and Ambassador Scouts are those in high school.
Fort Sill has Daisy through Cadet troops. There is one Senior/Ambassador troop in Lawton, offered through Western Hills Christian Church, O'Neill said.
Cadet Scout Allyson Delp, 13, used to be a Brownie Scout at Fort Carson, Colo.
"Girls Scouts are more like sisters than friends," Delp said. "I'm an only child so it gives me a sisterhood."
Megan O'Neill, who has been in Scouting seven years, said Girls Scouts is never boring.
"We've always gone on camp outs, and even when we're inside we do fun activities called 'Journeys,'" she said.
Augelica Burrell-Fleming, Girl Scouts of Western Oklahoma Community Development executive, was at the Girl Scout Olympics here supporting the Scouts.
"Fort Sill has very active troops, they all have great leaders and volunteers," she said. "Last week, one of the Junior troops hosted a 'Let's Move' bicycle safety check and invited all the Fort Sill troops."
Jennie and 1st Lt. Eric Lamberty have a daughter Evelyn, 5, in Daisies, and they plan to have their youngest daughter, Lillie, 4, join when she turns 5. They recommended Scouting to other parents.
"I think Scouting gives her some structure, it gives her personal and social growth and it helps her become a better friend and person," said Jennie, a former Brownie Scout. "It is something she can continue to high school, and it will be good for her future."