Hundreds of parents and children gathered at the Lid Park on June 14 for their annual Girl Scouts of America picnic and year-end “Court of Awards” recognition ceremony.
The event also marked a changing of the guard for the organization, locally, as Mercer Island’s service area manager, Anne Hritzay, stepped down after five years of leading the Island’s Girl Scouts. Gretchen Jansen was named as her replacement.
Enjoying a barbecue lunch and sunny weather, the scout’s combined service units, representing 47 troops from South Bellevue and Mercer Island, gathered to honor their volunteer efforts over the past year.
One of those troops was Mercer Island’s Girl Scout Troop 2685. The scouts committed themselves last fall to serving the community, and throughout the school year the 9- and 10-year-olds have followed through by helping older people, children, animals and the environment. The 12 girls were awarded community service badges for their good deeds.
“I am proud of our girls’ commitment to helping others, and of their understanding that even at their ages, they have a lot to give others,” said Claudia Allard, who leads the troop with Anne Marie Krivens and Liana Montague.
Near the picnic tables during the event at Lid Park, a “commitment” pole festooned with ribbons symbolized the group’s dedication and investment in girl scouting. Written on each strand was a girl scout’s name and yearly goal or favorite scouting memory.
“It’s important for families to come and see why they’re supporting the girls,” said Jensen, who added that parents could also sign the ribbons and add them to the pole.
Last December, Troop 2685 set up and strung lights on four Christmas trees at Covenant Shores retirement community for residents to decorate. They also visited with the residents, sang holiday carols and returned in January to present a concert featuring their favorite songs and piano pieces.
“Community service helps those who are in need, and I think helping people is an important thing to do,” said Lauren Bouju Davies, 10, a student at the French American School of Puget Sound on Mercer Island.
Scout leaders also thanked parents for all of their support and several area churches for supporting girl scouting through allowing the use of their facilities. Some of the churches included: Redeemer Lutheran, Emmanuel Episcopal, St. Monica Church, Mercer Island United Methodist, Holy Trinity Lutheran and Mercer Island Presbyterian.
Girl Scout leaders also announced that the annual Summer Day Camp event will be held on July 20-24 this year.
For more information, contact Day Camp Director Becky Kraus at (425) 643-7178. For more information on joining the Girl Scouts of America, call membership director Stacey Thompson at (206) 232-2979.