Kathy Thomas, originally from East Rochester but now part of the 3 Sisters Service Unit covering Macedon, Gananda, and Palmyra, has been a Girl Scout for 22 years — 12 years a Girl Scout herself, and 10 years as a leader for her daughter’s troop.
Thomas recalls a time when her troop were Girl Scout Brownies. The girls were learning about different cultures and each girl had to make a dish from her heritage. One of the girls’ fathers is of Asian descent and a Sushi chef, so the girls were able to arrange for him to come to their Christmas party and teach them how to roll their own sushi.
“We made California roll sushi and veggie sushi,” Thomas recalls. “For many of the girls it was their first time encountering sushi and surprisingly almost everyone loved it. To this day, we still fondly talk about that experience. On occasion my daughter and I go out to a Japanese restaurant with my co-leader and her daughter to enjoy real sushi.”
Thomas has learned many things through Girl Scouts including conflict resolution skills.
“Learning how to work together with your peers and working out disagreements is something everyone needs to learn,” she said. “Girl Scouts has also helped me build my confidence, especially in taking charge of an activity and seeing it through the whole process.”
One of the favorite activities her troop enjoyed doing around the holiday season was adopting a family. The girls and their families would purchase presents for the whole family as well as stocking stuffers. Then the troop would come up with a menu for the holiday dinner and go to the grocery store to purchase the items.
“I truly believe that girls and adults should get involved with Girl Scouts because the focus of Girl Scouts is on helping others less fortunate,” Thomas said. “No matter what time of the year it is, there is always someone who needs a helping hand.”
To find out more information about becoming a Girl Scout or volunteering for Girl Scouts to help build the leaders of tomorrow, visit www.gsnypenn.org.