Scouting helps youths be focused

The girls paired off, then snapped each other's photos at sites around Lewis Memorial United Methodist Church.


The eight members of Girl Scout Troop 20133 were working on their photography badge. They took head shots of one another and will visit with a professional photographer.

Scouting is a way to learn skills such as photography and acquire leadership qualities, according to Augusta area Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts. It's also fun.

Many of the girls of Troop 20133 said earning the horseback riding badge was their favorite activity.

"We went to (an event) in Tennessee for that badge," said 12-year-old Shelby Rogers.

Ashley Bennett, 12, said her favorite was the jewelry badge. She made her own necklace with a flower bead in the middle. Shelby, a seventh grader at Greenbrier Middle School and Ashley, a seventh grader at Harlem Middle School, have been in Scouting for eight years.

"It teaches you good lessons," Ashley said.

They've learned important skills such as first aid and baby-sitting, and go on trips.

Susan Adams, 13, a Harlem Middle School eighth grader, said she enjoyed a weekend trip to Savannah that included a visit to the birthplace of Girl Scout founder Juliette Gordon Low.

Jimmy Hartney, 17, is pursuing the highest rank of Boy Scouts: Eagle Scout. One requirement the Alleluia Community Schools senior has to meet is to plan and execute a project that benefits the community.

Jimmy, a Montclair Makos summer swim league member since he was 5, knew what condition the neighborhood pool's starting blocks were in, so he proposed building new ones. His project was approved Wednesday.

The three-ring folder that contains all the project details represents a demonstration of leadership.

"You want to be able to give this to someone else and have them carry it out," he said.

Jimmy said some of the skills he's learned in Scouting have helped him in his duties as senior class president. It's also helped him with planning and organizing things such as fundraisers for the class trip.

Scouting also helps teens stay active physically. One activity both Boy and Girl Scouts participate in is camping, Ali Sartain's favorite badge. The 12-year-old seventh grade pupil at Greenbrier Middle School said she's stayed in Girl Scouts for eight years because it's fun.

Sarah Campbell, 12, another Troop 20133 member, said she's learned how to plan effectively for trips, cook over a campfire and other skills.

"It gives me lots of stuff I can use," she said.

Reach Sarah Day Owen at (706) 823-3223 or

Boy Scouts

The Georgia-Carolina Council of the Boy Scouts of America oversees 16 counties in the area: 12 in Georgia and four in South Carolina.

Boy Scouts are 12 to 18 years old; younger boys join Cub Scouts.

A typical month includes a weekly meeting, an outdoor activity, and an outdoor course or weekend.

To get connected with a troop, you can call the council office at (706) 733-5277

Source: Jeremy Whitmore, assistant scout executive for the Georgia-Carolina Council of Boy Scouts of America

Girl Scouts

Girl Scouts of Historic Georgia is the council that oversees much of Georgia. The Augusta office is at 1325 Greene St. Call (706) 774-0505

Fun Fact: There are Girl Scout troops on U.S. military bases overseas.



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