Junior Service League offers start of something new for girls

Published 9:30 am Wednesday, April 7, 2021

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Leila Case

The Girl Scout program has been in existence since the organization was founded by Juliette Gordon Low in Savannah in 1912 and has been going strong since.

When I turned seven I joined the Brownies, the Scout level for younger girls. I still have my Brownie beanie as well as the sash I wore over my green Girl Scout uniform emblazoned with the earned merit badges I lovingly sewed on with large, childish stitches.

Later, my two daughters joined Brownies and then crossed over to Girl Scouts and when my only son, Mark Barrett, was old enough he joined Cub Scouts then crossed over to Boy Scouts at age 12 in Athens. He enjoyed Scouts and passed that love of scouting on to his sons Beau and John Barrett who were in Troop 26 in Americus and attained the rank of Eagle. Mark was assistant leader of Troop 26 for many years and Mike Ellis, leader. How proud we are of the Scouts in our family. Actually we have five Eagle Scouts.

All this to say the Junior Service League of Americus is chartering the first ever all-girl Cub Scout pack in Americus for girls in grades kindergarten through fifth – the organizational meeting will take place at the Boy Scout 21 hut located on the corner of East Dodson Street and Elm Avenue at 6:30 p.m., Tuesday, April 13, announced Michelle Andrews Parker, immediate past president of the JSL and who was approached by the Scouts about the league chartering the all-girl Cub Scout Pack here. And the league is all for the idea.

Michelle says she did not have the opportunity to be in Scouts. She said her father, Dr. Ben Andrews Jr., and brother, Ben Andrews III, are Eagle Scouts and her mom, Michelle Andrews, was a Scout leader for more than ten years.

She spent a good part of her childhood tag along to many Scout activities such as regular Cut Pack 231 meetings at First Presbyterian Church, merit badge ceremonies and family weekends at Camp Osborn. She said if there was a merit badge for being a “tag-along” she would have won it.

One of her fondest memories was at Camp Osborn when the outside temperature dropped to the below freezing mark during the night. Even though she was not a Boy Scout, she was given a Polar Bear patch due to withstanding such cold weather.

The reason this stands out in her head is she was included in something although technically she was not a member of the Boy Scouts because at that time, it was an all-male organization. Times have changed and Michelle says she’s excited to be at the start of those changes here in Americus.

I’m excited for them. I surely hope girls from kindergarten through fifth grade will participate and enjoy the new adventure.

For additional information please contact Michelle Parker at michelleparker89@yahoo.come or 229-942-6515.

Elsewhere, we had a wonderful Easter and happy celebration of Mark’s birthday.  Family gathered at the Mark and Anne’s home in Leslie and had a grand time. There was steak and all the trimmings, ice cream and cake. And on Easter Sunday we returned for a glorious dinner.

And Congratulations to First United Methodist Church on the beautiful renovations that were recently completed and showcased during an open house prior to the 11 a.m. Easter worship service, which was beautiful, meaningful and accompanied by glorious music.

Meanwhile huge congratulations to Gaynor Cheokas PhD. She has been appointed Dean for the College of Business and Computing at Georgia Southwestern State University by GSW President Neal Weaver. She has served as interim dean since last summer. Gaynor has reached one goal after another over the years. She moved here from Columbus and was employed by the Tog Shop as secretary to the late Dick Hewitt, president. She was later promoted to division director of the company. She is also active in the community, a past president of Rotary Club and other organizations. Gaynor is married to Georgia State Rep. Mike Cheokas (R). They have three grown children, Brittany, Athan and Lexie Cheokas.