JULY 31, 2013 - Members of Girl Scout Troop 60360, based in Country Club Hills, Ill., decided to use their skills in scrapbooking to give a special gift to some deserving new parents. The group of five girls, ages 11-14, handcrafted 50 scrapbooks for premature and high-risk babies born at Advocate South Suburban Hospital in Hazel Crest, Ill.
Each scrapbook is individually-made and no two scrapbook pages are alike. As part of the project, the girls spent a full week at a local scrapbook retailer creating the layouts and creating die cut images to decorate each page.
The group chose Advocate South Suburban Hospital because one member, Jalyn Smith, was born there prematurely and spent a considerable time in the in the hospital’s special care nursery unit.
“As the babies grow,” said Cierra Wright, one of the members of Troop 60360, “their parents are going to be able to look at the scrapbooks to remember and enjoy those memories.”
By completing the scrapbooking project, troop members, Antoinette Gilliam, Darilynn Rogers, and Wright each earned their Girl Scout Silver Award. Alina Daffin and Smith each earned their Cadette Community Service Bar.
“The troop really put their minds together to think of ideas for the pages and they had a great time working with each other,” said Marie Gilliam, the troop leader. “The girls really hope the families enjoy the books and cherish the moments with their babies.”
The group conducted fundraisers and collected donations from scrapbookers and local businesses to enable the creation of the books. The girls also shared their love and passion for scrapbooking by holding a free community-wide scrapbooking day, collecting donations to provide free scrapbook materials, magazines and instruction to more than 50 girls and adults. They also volunteered at the Spring March for Babies, sponsored by the March of Dimes.
“I think it is nice to do things for other people,” said Antoinette Gilliam, “And, it’s great to get to do the thing that we love doing (scrapbooking) at the same time.”
The Silver Award is the Second Highest Award in Girl Scouting. It is the highest award that Cadette Girl Scouts ages 11-14 or in grades 6-8 can earn. The Girl Scout Silver Award represents a girl’s accomplishments in Girl Scouting and her community as she grows and works to improve her life and the lives of others.
Each girl is required to donate a minimum of 50 hours toward a community-based project. The Cadette Community Service Bar is earned by completing a minimum of 20 hours. Cadette-level girls also are in Grades 6-8.
“I am very proud of the girls, as this project really pushed them to do things they normally might not do,” said Marie Gilliam. “They displayed an extraordinary level of leadership and service in this project.”