Three Lanesboro Girl Scouts are working hard to earn their Bronze Award, which can only be received as a member of a Junior troop. From left are Madelyn Haugen, daughter of David and Melanie Haugen; Alida Berg, daughter of Steve and Kari Berg; and Kaylee Peterson, daughter of Darcy Peterson. They are working on holding a public health and wellness event in April. All three girls are in the fifth grade at Lanesboro.
Three Lanesboro Girl Scouts are working hard to earn their Bronze Award, which can only be received as a member of a Junior troop. From left are Madelyn Haugen, daughter of David and Melanie Haugen; Alida Berg, daughter of Steve and Kari Berg; and Kaylee Peterson, daughter of Darcy Peterson. They are working on holding a public health and wellness event in April. All three girls are in the fifth grade at Lanesboro.
It's that time of year when the sweet tooth of many a person is satisfied by the same treat: Girl Scout cookies. They come in a variety of flavors and are sold to you by a very eager and smiling girl. However, selling cookies is not the only thing local Girl Scout troops in Lanesboro focus on during the year.

The entire organization, as troop leader Kari Morris stated, "promotes girls' confidence in taking on projects, developing independence, and teaching them leadership skills."

There are six different age groups in Girl Scouts that stretch from kindergarten through the twelfth grade. In Lanesboro, they have girls in the youngest group called Daisies, Brownies, Juniors, Cadettes and Seniors. Typically, there is drop in participation as the age groups advance, but participation is normally very good in the younger age groups. All groups take part in activities that emphasize service, skill development and leadership.

In the past year of Girl Scouts in Lanesboro, the Scouts helped clean up garbage from the storm drains as part of their Centennial Day of Service on Oct. 13, 2012.

The girls also made many cards for troops who are serving overseas as well as Christmas cards for residents at Harmony Community Healthcare. They also spread cheer by caroling at other residential complexes in Lanesboro. The girls have a tradition of putting together May baskets as well.

"You get to help people," shared three Junior troop members, who are trying to earn the highest award a Junior Girl Scout can receive.

The Bronze Award is granted to a girl who has planned and completed a project that helps the community. Madelyn Haugen, Alida Berg and Kaylee Peterson, who are all in fifth grade at Lanesboro, have decided to work together and help each other out with their common goal. They have been planning a fitness day program with the goal of helping people stay healthy.

They are planning to hold the event in April and offer a variety of activities that will teach people what they can do to be healthy and get people moving as well. Madelyn will be teaching people how to do yoga, Alida is going to teach people a dance, and Kaylee will be teaching others how to make healthy snacks.

They will be having the older Cadettes help them with putting on the event. They will also have Melinda Lutes from Project Fit Families at the event to do Zumba with all those who attend.

All three girls have until the end of the school year to complete their Bronze Award project because next year they will be Cadettes in sixth grade. Once a Cadette, they can try for their Silver Award.

Besides setting goals and working to achieve them, the girls are also able to be a part of fun activities. Last year was the 100th anniversary of Girl Scouts and the celebration was held at the Mall of America. The girls from Lanesboro were able to stay a couple days at the event where thousands of Girl Scouts assembled.

The girls also attend the Whispering Hills camp near Houston where they go swimming, kayaking, horse riding and even do some archery. For attending a camp, they receive a patch they can put on their vests.

Girls can also receive patches for selling cookies and completing projects. If the girls remain active in Girl Scouts, they are usually able to fill up an entire vest with patches. All of the camps they attend are paid for with the money they are able to raise from cookie, candy and nut sales as well as the magazine sales that occur in the fall. There is some healthy competition between the girls to see who can sell the most.

In the end, the girls learn some valuable lessons, as Kaylee explained, "It's important to help others and do your best in everything."