From Kindergarten to Ambassadors: Menlo Park Girl Scouts Troop 62415

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Many Girl Scouts disappear from cookie stands in their late elementary and middle school days, but Menlo Park Troop 62415 continues to serve the community, even as the girls take on their second year at M-A. 

“I think it’s because all the families are so close,” said troop member and sophomore Emma Mulcahy. “We all know each other so well that we know it can’t just die out.” 

Bee Stone, also a sophomore at M-A, added, “My mom is the troop leader and she knows to only schedule meetings around once a year because she sees that teenagers have so much to do.”  

To an outsider, it may be surprising to learn how creative and independent the organization motivates the Scouts to be from the time they learn to read and write. Troop member Auden Jones said, “Girl Scouts has taught us from age five that there are people who are much less fortunate than us. It was instilled in me that I always want to be giving back and using my privilege to make someone else’s life better.”  

The girls also create their own passion projects from scratch to achieve their Bronze, Silver, and eventually Gold Awards. “We get a Bronze Award if each person has 20 hours of service towards one common goal that will have a lasting impact in our community,” Jones explained, “Our troop bought a bunch of books, backpacks, and school supplies for Laurel fifth graders who are transitioning into middle school so that they could get free summer reading books if they couldn’t afford them. At the end of the summer each year, the books are dropped off at Hillview and taken back to Laurel for the next class of 5th graders.” 

The Silver and Gold Awards require many more hours and much more independence. “For a Silver Award, you and a small group have to put fifty hours into a common goal,” said Bee. “For ours, Emma, Auden, and I gave every school in the Menlo Park City School District pride kits during June so that the kids could read books with LGBTQ+ representation, and we also provided a resource sheet for teachers to help them be more inclusive in their classrooms.” She continued, “This one teacher, who is a part of the community, came up to my mom, who works at Laurel, and was so excited about it. She said that growing up, she never had access to that kind of thing, and that having something like this at her school would have changed her life.” 

The troop, which has worked together since the girls’ first day of kindergarten in 2013, urges others to understand that being a Girl Scout means much more than selling cookies. For some, it emphasizes the importance of connecting with one’s female identity. 

“When I was little, I was able to learn so much from the older local Girl Scouts who would come visit and connect with us,” said Mulcahy, “Now that we’re the older girls, we have the opportunity to teach these little Girl Scouts.” 

Jones said, “Meeting those older Girl Scouts was always really cool because we got to see where we could be in five or six years. Even after they gave us their big lessons about service, we could always just talk to them and learn about what it was like to be in high school and listen to their life advice.”

Members of Troop 62415 are currently working to achieve their gold awards; these upcoming projects require 80 hours of work and must be completed individually, from scratch, and make a long-lasting impact on the community. 

Penelope is a sophomore at M-A, and this is her first year in journalism. She is interested in writing music reviews as well as incorporating unique student perspectives into her stories. In her free time, you can find her practicing tennis, watercolor painting, or knotting away at her growing collection of friendship bracelets.

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