By Pfc. Choi Keun-woo (USAG-Yongsan)November 25, 2008
YONGSAN GARRISON, Republic of Korea - Yongsan Girl Scouts gathered with their Korean counterparts Nov. 22 at the Seoul American Middle School cafeteria for a joint project to help feed the homeless.
The group assembled and delivered lunch bags containing a sandwich, juice, dessert and chips Sunday to the homeless at Yongsan Station.
There were enough bags to give about 60 homeless people two bags each.
More than 150 girls scouts participated in the project, with half the group from the base and the other half from Seoul. The Korean counterparts have been cooperating with the Yongsan Girl Scouts for five years.
"This is an exciting opportunity for our girls," said Jung Sun-kyo, Board member and Training Committee vice-chairperson. "A lot of the Korean cadets are eager to come join the American scouts at Yongsan. They want to experience American culture and see what it is like inside the base."
The Lady Baden-Powell award is given in recognition for girl scouts that have displayed outstanding qualities in what is called the 5 C's.
Jung said the joint event covered four of the five C's.
"We are also crafting, exchanging cultural experiences with each other and communicating at the same time," she said. "It's really a wonderful event."
Many of the scouts seemed to agree.
"This is my first time playing with foreign students," said Kim Ji-woo from Dongsin Elementary School. "There are two foreign students in my school, but I've never had the opportunity to speak to them. Coming here today and participating in activities together was very fun."
Ashley Lim, a senior cadet, who has been a girl scout for four years, said joint events help cadets to exchange cultural exchanges.
"Sometimes communication can be a little bit of a problem since very few Korean students speak English and vice versa," Lim said. "But, there isn't a big wall between us. Sometimes a few words are enough and we can understand each other."
When it came time to deliver the food to the homeless everyone in the group was touched.
"The experience was truly humbling for all of the adults and the girl scouts," Susan Patten, Yongsan Girl Scouts Overseas Committee Chairperson. "Through this project, I hope that the girls will take away with them that life is not always good all around - life can indeed be hard for some people."
The Yongsan Girl Scouts will meet the Korean counterparts again next spring to complete the last C, camping, at Camp Market.