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Scouting joins area Boys & Girls Clubs


Girl Scouts at the Franklin Club. Center back is leader Eva Dixon, who was a Girl Scout with a Boys & Girls Club troop 20 years ago. Photo by Carole Robinson   


Two century-old youth organizations have rekindled a regional partnership after a 20-year separation. Girls Scouts of Middle Tennessee and the Boy Scouts have partnered with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Middle Tennessee (BGCMT) to provide kids with opportunities many would otherwise never have the chance to experience. 

“I was six or seven when they started Girl Scouts at the Boys & Girls Club,” said Eva Dixon, one of the Girl Scout leaders of Troop 5067 at the Franklin Club.
 
Dixon now serves as Youth Development Cooridnator.
 
“Denise Carothers and Diane Carothers were my leaders. We did arts and crafts, lock-ins, swim trips, father-daughter dances, Valentine’s Day parties and we sold cookies.  Being together, just a bunch of girls— that was the best part.”
 
Girl Scouts have a place for girls from the age of kindergarten through grade 12 via programs like Daisies, Brownies, Juniors and Cadettes. 
 
Boy Scouts allows boys in first through twelfth grade to join.
 
“We will be focusing [in Boy Scouts] on badges and making sure they have fun,” said Club Director Delennio Bond.

“We’ll offer Adventure Scouts for older kids. Teaching them leadership, team work and expose them to things like camping, entrepreneurship and exposing them to role models. For boys it’s really important to have male role models. Many of our boys don’t have a father around.”
 
From 1996 to 2003, Denise Carothers, now BGCMT Vice-President, was a volunteer Girl Scout Leader. 
“We started in 1996, right before cookie time,” she said. “Eva was one of the girls.”
At that time, Carothers was three years out of college and a loan originator for a mortgage company and a substitute teacher. 
“In my spare time, I came up here and worked with the Girl Scout troop,” she said. “Once I became executive director, I became too busy and no one took over.”
But she had such found memories of scouts that it became her mission to find a new leader.
Some of those memories still keep her laughing, like the time a skunk held her captive in the bathhouse.
 
“We were at a retreat, it was at night and I went to the bathroom, but I never came back. The skunk was outside the door. I was there for the rest of the night. It was the last time I went camping,” she said with a smile.
 
Today, young members at the Fairview Club are looking forward to the scouting experience.
 
Carlie Scott wants to go hiking in the woods and catch butterflies and Malayah Cortinas wants to learn dancing and go on sleepovers. She said she’s hoping for a pillow fight.
 
Fairview High ninth grader Kalli Robinson, a Club member since she was five, said, “I always wanted to be a Scout. It seems like fun and I like helping out. I think we are going bowling and to visit nursing homes. It’s something different and new.”
 
Cub Scouts Bryson Winchell, Jacob Gorski, Gabe Hall and Matt Mays are all looking forward to shooting archery, camping and woodworking, which will ultimately lead to the famed Pinewood Derby competition. 
 
This event is the culmination of weeks of working on a hand-carved wooden automobile, which Scouts get to design, paint and prepare for a specially-made racetrack.
 
Gabe is already planning ahead for the competition. “I thought it would be fun,” he said. 

Posted on: 10/27/2013

 
 

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