Chloe Riner, Rori Campbell and Charlotte Blyth have all witnessed the toll of breast cancer on their grandmothers, so when the time came for Troop 2106 to identify a project for their Bronze Award, they didn’t hesitate.
The Bronze Award is the highest award a Girl Scout Junior can earn. To earn this award, girls must identify a project and contribute at least 20 hours toward its completion.
Troop 2106 decided to create 40 chemo care packages for women undergoing treatment for breast cancer. The bags were stuffed with lozenges, hard candy, stress balls, hand sanitizer, crossword puzzle books, lip balm, fuzzy socks, silk breast cancer scarves, hand-painted rocks and a pack of personalized note cards containing positive messages from the girls. Troop 2106 also sewed pillows for the women to use to alleviate pressure after having a mastectomy.
To create the care packages, the girls had to raise funds to purchase the needed items. In May, they held a bowl-a-thon and made it halfway to their goal. The girls then held a bake sale and yard sale in August, and they were able to meet their fundraising goal.
The girls finished their Bronze Award, and the chemo care packages were delivered to the Hoffberger Breast Center at Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore on September 29.
Only a Junior Girl Scout, girls in fourth and fifth grade, can earn the Bronze Award. Ten Junior Scouts from Troop 2106 earned the distinction: Madison Aierstock, Martina Althoff, Charlotte Blyth, Rori Campbell, Jillian Chiappelli, Brynn Fallin, Sophia Fowler, Rhianna Oquist, Chloe Riner and Heid Tubbs. In addition to the contributions made by the Juniors in Troop 2106, a Daisy Scout, Elaina Oquist, worked alongside the Juniors.
“That service project takes time, but the happy feeling of knowing you helped people pays for the work,” Elaina said.
The other girls also called it a rewarding experience. Jillian said it taught her to put herself “in other people’s shoes.” Brynn learned about “having grit and perseverance.” Chloe said, “It always feels good to help other people, even though it could take time out of things that I want to do, like drawing.”
“Earning my bronze award made me feel good about myself knowing that I can help women who are in pain and feeling sadness,” Martina said. “Maybe this care package will bring a smile to their face and remind them that even though we don't know who you are, we are here praying for your quick recovery.”
Sophia is already looking forward to working on her Silver Award, but she is proud of the yearlong effort. “I am excited because it is cool to know that we will be helping so many women during a rough time,” she said.
As for the future, the girls already have other goals, from sprucing up Camp Whippoorwill to helping local animal shelters and building wells for people who lack access to clean water.
“I learned a lot during this journey,” Madison said. “But the thing that I thought was most important is that when you do something really kind, you will feel good about yourself.”