It’s not always easy for military kids to find community when they move. But when families PCS to Marine Corps Air Station Yuma in Arizona, girls know they can find a home with Girl Scout Troop 254.
The Troop includes girls ranging in age from five to 17, most of whom live on base. All of the girls have parents who are active duty or retired Navy or Marine Corps servicemembers. They may be more transitory than some Girl Scouts, but they still participate in the time-honored tradition of selling Girl Scout Cookies.
“Everything we do is community service,” explained Troop Leader Melissa Fry, who has worked with the girls for the past three years. “The girls make an agreement that the base is our community and they like to give back to the base. Most of the girls are very familiar with the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society. When it comes time for cookie season, we talk about a gift of caring and the girls choose a charity to support with their cookie proceeds.”
“The girls know if a family has an emergency, the Society can help them fly home. All of our leaders have talked about our experiences with the Society. For example, I have volunteered with the Society as a receptionist and caseworker, and one of our other leaders was helped with emergency travel assistance. Some of the girls have shopped at the Society’s thrift shop as well.”
Three years ago, the Troop chose the Society as their cookie money beneficiary, donating $900. Last year the Troop raised $1,000 in cookie sales, all of which they donated to the Society. “This year, since the base chapel let us have our meetings there, and the girls discovered there was a food bank on base, we split the proceeds between NMCRS and the food bank, giving $400 to the Society and $400 in commissary gift cards to the food bank.”
“We put on our posters at our cookie booths that we’re raising money for the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society,” Fry said. “We tell people, ‘if these girls can give, so can you!’”
Thank you for your generous donations, Girl Scout Troop 254!
By Betsy Rosenblatt Rosso