Idyllwild has two Girl Scout troops. One is Troop 367, which was started last year by Denise Jones and Jennifer Lozano with the hopes of changing young girls’ lives for the better. The other troop is on a winter hiatus.
The Girl Scouts of America was founded in 1912 by Juliette Gordon, according to the organization’s website. The goal was to teach young girls about success, leadership and adventure. Since then, many young girls have discovered a solid foundation that has carried them into adulthood.
“We wanted our little girls to have a better understanding of being more respectable, being honest and having friends,” Lozano said.
Troop 367 ranges from kindergarten to third grade, giving the girls the opportunity to learn how to interact and befriend others at different ages. Currently, the troop has 11 active members that are either Daisies or Brownies.
“It’s good for the girls to become friends with different age groups,” Jones said.
With many activities and fundraisers, the biggest one is the one, the only Girl Scout Cookies! Yes, we all love them and they only come around once a year.
The girls decided they wanted to go to Sea World with the funds they raise from this year’s cookie sales.
Learning that goals and hard work do pay off, the troop is busy outside Fairway Market every Wednesday from 3-5 p.m. until March 17.
This year, the troop has a goal to sell 2,000 boxes and is very close with having already sold 1,783 boxes as of this past Saturday afternoon.
“Juan Patlan was open to letting us set up whenever we’d like in front of Fairway,” Jones said. “We’ve been so grateful for that.” Patlan is one of Fairway Market’s managers.
Not only does the troop have a group goal, but each member also has her own personal goal of how many boxes she wants to sell.
While the Girl Scouts have the popular cookie season, they also have the summer season which opens up more time for the girls since school is out.
Last summer, the troop — to earn their community service project badge — raised over $700 for childhood cancer research focusing on glioblastoma, an aggressive form of brain cancer. The troop raised the money by selling lemonade.
The troop also did a one-night camping trip. For many, it was their first experience of being away from home overnight.
They also have learned about respecting authority. They met with Riverside County Sheriff Deputy Jeremy Parsons to learn about stranger awareness and how to be safe at all times.
Once cookie season is over, the troop will learn about marine mammals at the Pacific Marine Mammal Center in Laguna Beach.
Outside of field trips and the every other Thursday meetings where the girls learn vital skills, they are also taught the everyday practices that make for a successful and rewarding life.
“Idyllwild is such a tight-knit town to begin with, but when we’re out, we teach them to be kind and stop and help people if they can,” Jones said. “It’s amazing to see the girls grow.”
Local donations are always welcome so the girls can continue to participate in Girl Scouts. The American Legion Women’s Auxiliary recently donated $100 to the troop.
“We are always looking for sponsors to help our troop to pay for uniforms or badges,” Jones and Lozano said. If you are interested in donating or sponsoring Troop 367, you may do so by emailing Denise Jones at [email protected].