Today’s Girl Scouts

| 15 Mar 2012 | 12:22

WEST MILFORD — While modern Girl Scouts may have different interests, it appears that the 100-year-old core values remain intact.

Girl Scout leader, Megan Walsh-Gammon, had personal reasons for starting up a Girl Scout Daisy troop at Paradise Knoll School.Petra, her five-year-old daughter, was recovering from open heart surgery last year and her physical activities were severely curtailed.

By forming Troop 4896, along with co-leader Lily Murphy, Walsh-Gammon had the pleasure of watching Petra make new friends, kids she may not have known otherwise.

“Girl Scouts to me is not about who is the smartest, the fastest or the most creative.It’s about how well rounded the girls become by knowing each other,” Walsh-Gammon said.

Daisies, kindergarten through first grade, function at a basic level.They are taught to be respectful and responsible and they are always eager to please.They are off by themselves, maybe for the first time, and they grow as individuals.

“It’s fun,” Petra said.“You get to visit the ambulance squad and we like to put stickers on butterflies.They’re really pretty,” she added.

Troop 702 Girl Scout Cadette, Kerry Bramley, started scouts as a Daisy.She’s 11 years old now and plans on staying in.

“I get to hang out with friends but also we do some other enjoyable things,” she said.

Along with troop-mate Sayah Kahn, in her first year with the scouts, the girls were asked to look over their school and identify non-earth friendly products on the premises and take their findings to the custodian.

“One of the best things is feeling like you’re doing something,”Kerry said.

The girls will soon be visiting a court house where they get to solve the case.A pre-court breakfast will include hand-churned butter and pancakes, made by the girls.“I like being around all the girls because we are really close friends.We have fun activities and I would definitely recommend it to other girls to join up,”Sayah said.

Heidi Meramo, 18, is a senior at West Milford High School and an Ambassador and Juliette Girl Scout.Juliettes are independent of any troop.She was a scout up until sixth grade, dropped out and rejoined in her third year of high school.

“Being a Girl Scout has offered me so many different opportunities for learning, but the one thing I really learned was to be a strong and confident leader.Also to try new things and branch out from your comfort zone,” she said.

She’s a great fan of Girl Scout camping, particularly enjoying sailing, and she has remained friends with girls she met through scouting at a young age.She was chosen to attend the national convention in Texas this year and looks forward to 100th anniversary celebrations coming up.

“The Girl Scout uniform may have changed but the values that they embrace have not changed one bit,” said Heidi. “I will never forget my Girl Scout values, they are always in the back of my head.”

Juliette Gordon Low would be so pleased to hear that.