Cara Littlefield, Alysha Velasquez, KK Dailey, Sarah Lloyd, Kayleigh Ballman, Alyssa Wolk, Lindsey Riley, Grace Lingenfelter, Anna Maria Chavez, Emily Jones, Megan Djanbatian, Alexis Lopez, Hadyn Kammien, Lindsey Ortiz, Jessica Lloyd, Linnea Redden
Every year for the past 14 years the girls of Troop 593 have spent part of their winter break decorating floats for the Tournament of Roses Parade. This seasoned crew is in high demand by the float supervisors because of their meticulousness, work ethic and willingness to do whatever needs to be done.
Mom Pam Null is proud of her daughters' participation in this annual event. "They do the job required no matter how sticky or messy, whether they're high on a scaffolding or under the backside of a 20-foot gorilla. They start and finish the job asked of them to completion and clean up like no other troop--never leaving it for someone else. They have been rewarded year after year with prize-winning floats and requests form team design leaders to have them work on their floats. I am proud to have both of my girls, one now an adult scout and one a senor in high school, say that they learned life skills in how to work a job and work it to their best."
Part of the challenge for the girls is to be cautious when using flower product that is expensive such as safflower and stasis. "It gives us the opportunity to work as a team and to learn how to use resources wisely," said 16-year-old Lindsey Riley. "Each and every year I learn something new.
"The whole experience is really amazing," said 12th grade Ambassador Sarah Lloyd. "Being able to help with something that the whole country will see and knowing that you're trusted enough to be let onto the float to do cautious work--it's tremendous. The huge time commitment, the awkward hours of the night, the unhealthy snacks to keep you awake is all worth it. Anyone can be great because anyone can serve. Spending my winter break doing this makes me feel as if I'm a part of something special."
This year the troop spent 5 days working with Fiesta Floats to help decorate and guard the AIDS Healthcare Foundation float, which won the Queen's Trophy for best display of roses. Many of the 16,000 roses donated for this float were personalized with the names of people who had died of HIV/AIDS. The girls were so moved by this, that they made sure every single one of those roses made it into the oversized AIDS awareness ribbon showcased on the front of the float.
During one decorating shift, the girls had the opportunity to meet renowned float designer Raul Rodriguez who graciously spent some time talking with them. Rodriguez celebrated his 500th float design this year, and the girls thanked him for his beautiful creations. He was thrilled to have the Girl Scouts there and told them how much he admired the organization and its work.
Front Row: Grace Lingenfelter, Linnea Redden. Second Row: Lindsey Ortiz, Emily Jones, Alexis Lopez, Raul Rodreiguez and parrot Sebastian, Kayleigh Ballman, Jessica Lloyd, Alysha Velasquez, Cara Littlefield
The troop was also able to spend some personal time with the new CEO for Girl Scouts of the USA, Anna Maria Chavez.
"She actually took the time to speak to each girl individually, which was amazing and left the girls feeling quite star-struck." Said Troop co-leader Cindy Chapman. "She was extremely personable and down to earth. She talked with us about her desire to re-focus energy on our older girl population, something I feel very passionately about. I'm very excited about her plans and the future that's in store for Girl Scouts. "
Girl Scouts of San Gorgonio builds girls of courage, confidence and character who help make the world a better place. To find out how you can get involved with Girl Scouts, call 1-800-400-GIRL (4475) or visit us online at http://gssgc.org.
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by Juno Kughler Carlson