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Girl Scout Night draws a crowd

Line snakes across front of E. Russell Hicks Middle School for signups

September 13, 2010|By JANET HEIM
  • Hagerstown residents Emma Bruno, 5, left, and Chloe Rosat, 6, make friendship bracelets Sept. 1 after signing up for Girl Scouts at E. Russell Hicks Middle School.
Joe Crocetta, Staff Photographer

The line snaked across the front of E. Russell Hicks Middle School, as Washington County girls and their parents/guardians waited for the Girl Scout Recruitment Night to begin.

The event, held the evening of Sept. 1, resulted in 100 elementary school girls signing up for the program, said Darylle Smoot, field director for this region, the Girl Scout Council of the Nation's Capital.

"It was huge," Smoot said of the event. "To have that number of girls interested - we were glad to see that all at one time."

Smoot said before the recruitment night, she received calls from at least 50 parents who said they would not be able to attend. More calls continue to come in.

While the adults took care of paperwork, the girls made friendship bracelets.

The program is open to girls from kindergarten through 12th grade. Troops meet in local schools, churches and community centers, with times and places selected by the troop leaders, Smoot said.

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She said the new tagline for Girl Scouts is "What did you do today?", encouraging girls to explore the array of experiences the Girl Scouting program offers them.

Smoot's job now is to place girls in troops. Most choose to be in troops in their school or community. Some might have scheduling conflicts with the closest troop, though, and can join another troop.

She added that Girl Scouts, "the largest organization for girls on the planet," is about much more than selling cookies and going camping.

"We have so many adventures for girls now - amazing trips, mountain climbing, kayaking and great community service programs," Smoot said.

In addition, there are programs tailored for teen girls, such as a road safety program for teen drivers and a program called Capital Currency, in which girls learn about being financially responsible.

Smoot said there are more than 1,000 Girl Scouts in Washington County, with programs that extend beyond the traditional troop. This summer, for example, there was a weeklong day camp in Williamsport that was open to girls who weren't registered as Girl Scouts.

"We're pretty flexible," Smoot said.

For more information, call Smoot at 301-662-5106, e-mail her at dsmoot@gscnc.org">dsmoot@gscnc.org or go to http://www.gscnc.org.

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