Making a difference:

United Way funds keep girls in scouts

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"Arts and crafts," sang out nearly every member of Brownie Troop 213.

That's their favorite part of being a Girl Scout.

"Surprise events!" yelled another voice, a declaration that was followed by peals of laughter.

Ah, the non-conformist.

A person doesn't find many shy ones among Girl Scouts. Troop leader Becky Forquer says they may come in the door that way but they don't stay shy long.

"They're not the same girls (after the experience)," she said.

Girl Scouts has been bringing girls together for more than 75 years. In a supervised setting and among their peers the girls learn skills and make friendships that can last a lifetime.

Carli Griffith, 8, talked her best friend, Alexis Losolla, also 8, into joining Girl Scouts this year. They've been friends, they're proud to say, since the first day of preschool and now they're members of Brownie Troop 213

They both speak in awe of getting to see inside the freezers at McDonald's and with sadness of the closure of Valley View Manor where the troop visited frequently and would go and carve pumpkins with the residents.

"That was fun, doing that," Losolla said. "Why did they close it? Why did they do that to us? Why?"

She's a bit dramatic and her friends love that about her.

Griffith said Girl Scouts has taught her about respect for others and arts and crafts.

"I want to be a leader," she said. "I want to be a Girl Scout for as long as I live."

Girl Scouts is one of many agencies funded by Moffat County United Way. That funding helps provide adult leaders with training, participants with handbooks and allows some girls who can't afford the $10 membership fee scholarships to participate.

"The money's used to provide services and keep our troops up and running," Craig resident Carol Wilson said. "We try to safeguard and use the money wisely with the best benefit to the most folks."

Wilson has been part of Girl Scouts for more than 30 years. Her experiences as a youth led her to become an adult volunteer and a lifetime member.

"My best memory of being a Girl Scout was having my mom as a leader and that's what I wanted to give my daughter," Wilson said.

Girl Scouts provides an environment for girls to be girls and to learn and try things they might not be able to do alone. They learn those skills in an environment of caring and friendship and with adult supervision.

"It's a wonderful organization for girls," Wilson said.

Participants learn skills that depend on their age group. Griffith's Brownie vest boasted badges for hygiene and politeness among many others.

Girls can join in kindergarten and there are activities and troops that will take them through high school.

Younger children take field trips to local points of interest and with older groups, the sky's the limit. They've taken trips to other states and other countries. It's limited only to their imaginations and fund-raising abilities.

"It's not limited at all," Wilson said. "If you can think it, you can do it. The goal is to have fun learning about different things."

Even with a limited scope because of their ages, Forquer has her hands full with her Brownie Troop. She has been a volunteer for eight years, starting when her own children were members, but outlasting them.

"I just have fun," she said. "Sometimes when we do stuff I remember things I did in Brownies.

"I hope they learn something. Maybe someday it'll come back to them and they'll say 'I remember doing that!'"

Christina M. Currie can be reached at 824-7031, Ext. 210 or by e-mail at ccurrie@craigdailypress.com.

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