Jeff Copley, the public works director from Rushford, spoke about saving water with members of the Harmony and Preston Brownie Troop 44503. He runs the water treatment plant and taught the girls about aquifers, how water gets to their homes, how the cities make drinking water clean and pointed out how much money is wasted as water runs out of a leaky faucet. From left, are Anna Cahill-Hoffman, Kendyl Kraling, Jeff Copley, Amanda Vrieze, Daio Mohs, Kelcy Nagel and Addison Hershberger.
Jeff Copley, the public works director from Rushford, spoke about saving water with members of the Harmony and Preston Brownie Troop 44503. He runs the water treatment plant and taught the girls about aquifers, how water gets to their homes, how the cities make drinking water clean and pointed out how much money is wasted as water runs out of a leaky faucet. From left, are Anna Cahill-Hoffman, Kendyl Kraling, Jeff Copley, Amanda Vrieze, Daio Mohs, Kelcy Nagel and Addison Hershberger.
Girl Scout Troop 40085 has had a very busy year. Leader Aubrey Johnson shared some highlights from the 100th Year of Girl Scouts and how the Harmony and Preston area scouts enjoyed the year, earned badges and conducted community service projects. Her co-leader of the troop is Melissa Herron and members include Addy Peters, Ashlyn Simon, Chloe LaBonne, Hailey Jorge, Hannah Storlie, Jordan Oelkers, Keanna Weedman, Kelly Ristau, Keneddy Manhart, Kennedy Ristau, Kaley Arndt, Kylie Fenton, Raen Johnson and Pailey Gordon.

A large party was held at the Mall of America where thousands of girls from almost every state participated in activities throughout a weekend last year. A couple of local girls, Raen Johnson and Addisson Hershberger, enjoyed the event.

The troop started out its year by participating in The Centennial Day of Service in October. The girls learned about water quality and how leaves in the roads and along the curbs affect phosphorus levels. They then raked several areas around town and hope to do this again in honor of Earth Day in April. The girls would like to encourage members of the community to also take part and keep their curbs clear of debris.

The Troop has spent much of the year working on their Legacy Badges.

The Girl Scouts have worked on some simple art techniques to earn the Drawing Badge. They were able to visit the Lanesboro Art Center where Robbie Brokken gave them a wonderful tour and showed the girls that there are so many different versions and types of art. This Art Center is a great asset to the area and the girls encourage everyone to see what beautiful artwork they have.

The girls have also earned the Simple Meals Badge. They and their leaders enjoyed a great evening with Stephen Larson and Lisa Flicker who were gracious enough to open up their restaurant, QUARTER/quarter, and kitchen to the 14 girls. The girls were shown how to make a homemade chocolate pudding along with participating in making their own quesadillas.

The girls also worked on and earned their Junior First Aid. Badge. The troop visited dispatch at the Sheriff's Department with Sheriff Daryl Jenson, the Harmony Fire Department with Chief Rod Johnson and learned some basic first aid from Ambulance Director Eileen Schansberg.

Some of the girls were able to volunteer their time to help the Harmony Lions Club with Breakfast with Santa in early December.

The girls just finished up the Inside Government Badge. They toured the Fillmore County Courthouse with Karen Brown and Chris Atwood. They even got to sit where the commissioners meet and decided there will be some women serving in the future. They also interviewed Harmony Mayor Steve Donney and Fillmore Central School Board Chair Ross Kiehne.

As many may know, the girls have been recently selling Girl Scout cookies. The cookie season started with a Cookie Kick-off at the Harmony Community Center. The girls learned many skills for selling cookies door-to-door and for selling at booths. They watched movies, enjoyed snacks and pizza donated by Casey's. The hit of the evening was karaoke and Wii Dance. Lots of laughs and giggles could be heard into the wee hours of the morning. Breakfast items were donated by Kwik Trip and Harmony IGA.

The cookies are available until the end of this week. Cookie booths will be set up at both Harmony and Preston IGAs on Saturday, March 16. The money the girls earn will go toward field trips and summer camp. Please consider continuing the support for these girls by buying a few more boxes. The troop has earned Cookie CEO and Customer Insight awards during this time.

"We want to thank the communities of Fountain, Preston and Harmony for supporting your local Girls Scout troops," Johnson said. "Troop 40085 wants to especially thank those members of these communities that took time out of their busy days to give these girls some great learning experiences. You showed them that there is so much out there that these girls can do to be involved and active citizens."

Johnson concluded by saying the troop has many more activities planned for before the end of this Girl Scout year. "We also hope to continue with our group next year and learn much more! Thank you for your continued support."

Brownie Troop 44503

This year, the third-grade Brownie Troop 44503, led by Kari Cahill, has been working on the Wonders of Water journey. This coincided with the Girl Scouts 2012 centennial anniversary. Members of this troop include Amanda Vrieze, Kendyl Kraling, Kelcy Nagel, Daio Mohs, Pyper Casey, Hannah Bothun, Addisson Hershberger and Anna Cahill-Hoffman.

"Last fall, to mark this milestone, our troop participated in an environmental day of service: a community clean-up for Water Quality," Cahill explained. "Our Brownies took action by raking leaves from storm drains and gutters, removing 18 bags of debris. Five bags of debris equals one pound of phosphorus. One pound of phosphorus prevents up to 500 pounds of algae growth. They were helping to save our rivers and fish!"

At another meeting, Jeff Copley, the public works director from Rushford, spoke to the girls about saving water. "He taught our troop about aquifers, how water gets to our homes, how the cities make our drinking water clean, how much more economical tap water is than bottled water and how much money is wasted by leaky faucets," Cahill explained.

She added that the information the Brownies have learned about protecting and saving water in their WOW journey will be shared with their classmates at Fillmore Central on Friday of this week to help motivate their classmates to do the same!

Juliette

Abigail Parker, a second grader at Fillmore Central, is a Juliette Scout, which means she completes badges on her own, at home under the direction of her mother, Mindy Parker.

More information

For more information or to join a local Girl Scout Troop, one may contact one of the local leaders, which include Aubrey Johnson, Heather Barth, Kari Cahill, Mindy Parker and Elizabeth Hoeltzle. One may also contact the local Girl Scout council at 800-845-0787 or by visiting its website www.girlscoutsrv.org.