Minus cookies, Campus Girl Scouts help youth

Minus cookies, Campus Girl Scouts help youth

By Carrie Knific

A young girl appeared helpless before attorneys, but she couldn’t be spared from the jury’s decision. The testimonies and evidence were against her – half-eaten porridge and an unkempt bed – and after a slam of the gavel she was declared guilty.

Led by the Northeastern Campus Girl Scouts, young Girl Scouts of the Roxbury community brought justice to Goldilocks for infiltration of the three bears’ home last Saturday at an event called, “Innocent or Guilty” at the Knowles Center.

This is one of the many events the Northeastern Campus Girl Scouts run each year for the young Girl Scout troops they work with in Roxbury.

Senior biology and secondary education major Sarah Sargent, a Girl Scout for 10 years, said overseeing the Roxbury troops and events like “Innocent or Guilty” is a way for a former scout to give back to the younger scouts of today and the community.

“Many of us were Girl Scouts when we were younger and it’s a great chance to give back to the community like someone did for us,” she said.

The Campus Girl Scouts oversee two troops: an after-school group in Roxbury consisting of Daisies, ages five through six, Brownies, ages six through eight and Juniors, ages eight through 11; and an on-campus group of Brownies and Juniors.

Bridging the gap between teenage groups and adults, the group works with the Patriots’ Trail Council to organize activities for the young scouts and further into the community, Sargent said.

Using Northeastern’s facilities, the group designs activities to educate the girls, ranging from Brownie camping trips to leadership training to charitable acts chosen by the scouts, Sargent said. Last year, the girls chose to use some of their cookie-selling profit to purchase school supplies for Hurricane Katrina victims.

“There’s a lot to it; we do a lot for the community,” said freshman civil engineering major Nicole Serafin, a Girl Scout of 12 years. “It’s nice to know that we can give these city kids opportunities and to enhance the knowledge of girls, to let them know they can be strong and have opportunities that they couldn’t have years ago.”

President Danielle Ouellette, a middler journalism major, has been a Girl Scout since kindergarten, and didn’t think twice before continuing her involvement upon entering college.

Ouellette said she enjoys being on the leadership side of Girl Scouts.

“It’s great to see them get really excited about things and get involved in the events that we do,” she said.

While the founding members of the group, Sargent, Noreen Konetzny, Andrea Mutz-Mercier, Pam Scherl, Karen Schmidt and Lisa Schoenbrunn are on the verge of graduation, the Campus Girl Scouts are eager to expand.

“Most people are unaware that after the age of 18, both males and females can join the organization,” Serafin said.

Serafin added the Campus Girl Scouts membership includes an array of backgrounds and majors, but all are dedicated to bringing light into the lives of youth.

Ouellette said she would like to see the group expand in the future. They hope to nurture their involvement in the community and serve more girls with different troops. Plans for starting a new group in Mattapan are in the works.

With all the Campus Girl Scouts do, each girl has found different aspects rewarding in their own way.

“It’s great to see the young girls get really excited about things and get involved in the events that we do,” Ouellette said.

Sargent said involvement in Girl Scouts is rewarding on multiple levels.

“Working with the troop, it’s so good to take girls from the city and give them new experiences,” Sargent said. “Within the group, it’s great to just see the members grow. They gain a lot of leadership experience and learn how to be role models.”

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