SIDNEY — As spring begins and flows into summer, two Girl Scout troops have said “thank you” to Sidney First United Methodist Church by planting approximately 48 flowers. The troops have met there under troop leader Kerry Keiser since 2009. One group is a Cadet troop, 6-8th grade. The other is a Brownie troop, first and second grade. They meet on different evenings and are just two of the more than 30 troops active in Shelby County.
Keiser’s Cadet Troop has been meeting at the church since 2009. The Brownie troop has just finished the third year meeting there. The church allows them to meet there at no cost. Some troops have to pay to meet in churches or other venues. Keiser devised the idea of planting the flowers as a way to pay the church back for being so good to them.
The church also allows two other troops to meet there. In addition, the church allows the troops to participate in Girl Scout Sunday. During Girl Scout Sunday, the girls pass out programs and free Girl Scout cookies. The church provides the cookies. The church opens as well for the leader’s meetings for Shelby County Girl Scout Leaders once a month.
The troops have been planting the flowers since 2009. The flowers are paid for from the troop funds, raised by selling cookies. The two troops sell thousands of cookies.
Keiser began as co-leader of the Cadet troop in 2008 and became the leader in 2009. She has two daughters in Girl Scouts, and has a daughter in each of her troops. Each of the troops has 14 girls.
“The whole troop does a really good job of helping the younger girls and guiding them and helping them in the activities we do together and even in Day Camp,” said Keiser.
Keiser’s older daughter wanted to join Girl Scouts, but there wasn’t a troop for her. Keiser had to start one. That was no problem for her since being a Scout leader runs in the family.
“I kinda thought my mom had been my leader, and her mom had been her leader. It was probably my turn, so I said I would do it,” said Keiser.
Keiser feels strongly that there are many benefits to participating in Girl Scouts.
“The girls truly learn how to help other people, and they learn leadership skills. My Cadets learn how to help others by helping my Brownies, by planting the flowers, and by other community service we do. There’s leadership and the confidence they are building and the friendships,” said Keiser.
Girls from Brownie and Cadet Troops plant flowers to thank the First United Methodist church for allowing them to meet there. Pictured are Members of Brownie Troop, 20319, Elizabeth Smedley, Daughter of Troy & Shelley Smedley, McKenzie LeMaster, daughter of Brittany LeMaster, Lauren Westgerdes, daughter of Angie Westgerdes. All are from Sidney.
The writer is a regular contributor to the Sidney Daily News.