by Rita Billiard
Some places have what is known as a Campus Gold or Alumni Girl Scouts but in Sierra Vista, Arizona, which is part of the Cochise County Service Unit of the Sahuaro Girl Scout Council – we have what is known as “Neverlanders Girl Scout Troop #1224″.
To borrow a line from the Golden Girls, Sophia Petrilo, – “Picture this” for as a Senior Girl Scout at the time, Laura was walking across the wooden bridge to the level of Adult Girl Scouting – as per the custom she stopped in the middle of the bridge to tell what she liked best about her past years in Girl Scouting and what she was looking forward to do in the next level. She looked out at the audince and stated, “There’s been a change of plans, I’m not bridging. I’m moving to Neverland!”
Luckily it doesn’t stop there – for in June of 2008 the girls as Cadettes and Seniors were on their big summer trip and they were discussing how much they were going to miss their times as Girl Scouts together whether it be the regular meeting, other activities as a Girl Scout troop or going camping. Now their top notch leader, who I am sure Juliette Gordon Low would have definitely approved of as a Girl Scout leader came to the rescue. Maybe even Juliette would have hand picked Mrs. Wheat who said, “why not form a new troop of Young Adult Girl Scouts?” After a discussion the “Neverland Girl Scout Troop #1224″ became official with the symbol of ‘Tinkerbell’.
The girls used their camp names for much of their identity as Cadettes and Seniors and especially to their sister troops of Junior GS#419 and Brownie GS#104, so we have “Digby” (aka: Victoria), “Mickey” (aka: Laura), “Tweety” (aka: Amanda) and “Thin Mint” (aka: Natashia).
All members of Neverland #1224 are eligible to participate in all Girl Scout events but they must be a registered Girl Scout. As it happens, Victoria, Laura, Amanda and Natashia are all lifetime members.
Natashia is a Silver Awardee and Victoria, Laura and Amanda have earned their Bronze, Silver and Gold achievements. A relationship is encouraged with Cadette/Senior #1224 and if possible with Junior GS Troop #104 and Brownie GS troop#419. This would include but not be limited to visiting them when home on school breaks, attending functions whenever they can, letters/notes, being mentors for Gold, Silver and Bronze Awards – and especially being that true sister Girl Scout.
“Neverlanders” being high school graduates are presently in college and out of town most of the year, but when in town they encourage younger girls to stay in girl Scouting and learn to take advantage of what all that Girl Scouts can offer them. As the girls graduate from high school cross the bridge to adult Girl Scouting and they meet the requirements they too can become a member of the neverland Girl Scout Troop #1224.
Recently, and to start the new year off, Girl Scout troops 1224, 419, and 104 took part in the flag burial ceremony at the Veteran’s Memorial Cemetary on Fort Huachuca, Arizona with Neverlanders Victoria, Laura and Amanda leading the ceremony. Yes, Neverlanders can say “Once a Girl Scout, Always a Girl Scout.”
I am really pleased and proud of how these young ladies are showing the younger girls that there is life after Senior Girl Scouts! – Rita Billiard