They may be in elementary school, but don’t tell the girls of Troop 6122 they’re too little to be a big help.
Since starting their first year as Brownie Girl Scouts, the 19 girls, ranging in age from 7 to 9, have collected toys for an orphanage in Kosovo, school supplies for the church which hosts their meetings, and sold over 100 boxes of Girl Scout cookies to be sent to troops in Kuwait.
"We started by collecting things for Katrina victims last fall," said troop leader Angie Pilcher.
Next up was collecting toys for an orphanage in Kosovo, where troop leader Mary McIntyre’s sister is stationed.
"We all collected stuffed animals and toys we thought the other kids might like," said troop member Marie Laverdiere.
McIntyre washed all 100 toys before sending them overseas, to a home where 45 children, most under the age of 10, lived, she said.
"We wanted to help them because it’s fun," said member Megan McEvoy. "It helps us learn how to share."
The girls also sent over coloring books, pens, pencils and art supplies for the few children older than 10, so they’d have the chance to play with new things, McIntyre said.
When cookie time came around, the girls decided to sell some extra boxes to be sent to Arafjan, Kuwait, where the father of twins Gillian and Grace Barth is stationed.
"The girls made over $1,093.20 from selling cookies this year," Pilcher said. "We’re going to figure out what to do with the money next week."
When the girls heard that, they erupted into a frenzy of ideas for how to celebrate, including horseback riding, overnight camp-outs and parties at Chuck E. Cheese.
"My favorite cookies are the Samoans because they have coconut on them and chocolate on the bottom," said Lauren Budreau.
As Girl Scouts, Haley Schrock said it’s important to help others.
Her friend Megan McEvoy agreed. "There are lots of people who don’t have all the nice things we have," she said. "You should help all the people you can."
DURING THEIR weekly meeting at the Community Covenant Church on Sydenstricker Road, the girls began their meeting by performing a flag ceremony, then singing songs in the Friendship Circle. They talked about things they’d like to do in the future in order to become better members of their neighborhoods.
"I’d like to actually plant daises," said Emily Sun. "We could put them in pots on the window sill and watch them grow."
Meghan McIntyre thought it would be fun to bake brownies. The others girls giggled and asked if they would then be eating themselves if they did that, which turned into a discussion on how to make the perfect S’more, a Girl Scout camping favorite.
"The girls made their own pizzas for one of our badges," Angie said.
Many of the girls said they help their parents at home, by helping make dinner, cleaning or performing other simple chores.
"I help my mom make lunch for everyone," said Juliet Feltwell.
"I help make cookies and pancakes," said Kaylee Wokeck, while Abby Pilcher said she helps her mom by "cleaning the dishes and making the beds."
"It’s not true that you can’t help because you’re small," said Marie Laverdiere. "Nobody’s too little to help out."
"No matter what size you are, you can still make a difference," said Ryan Martin.