Local Girl Scouts kick off the Season of Giving

LAUREL — Tis’ the season of giving.
This short, simple phrase is the theme this Holiday season for the Laurel Girl Scout Brownie Troop.
The troop is gearing up for a full season of giving to others in the local community, as well as surrounding communities.
The Laurel Girl Scout Brownie Troop began their “season of giving” on Tuesday, Nov. 15, when they traveled to Norfolk to give a helping hand to the Norfolk Rescue Mission.
Kristie Martin, the Brownie leader, collaborated with Shannon Arduser to make this community service project available for the girls.
“This is the beginning of the season of giving,” she told her troop when she presented the idea of going to the Norfolk Rescue Mission at their bi-weekly meeting.
Prior to leaving, Martin read the girls the book “The Thankful Coat.” She then explained to the girls where they were going and why it was an important outreach opportunity.
The girls went prepared with their “famous pies” to serve, as well as donated coats, shoes, and socks from troop members’ families. The troop then stopped at the store to pick up more socks, hats and gloves. Brownie Jo Kinkaid said “Going to the store to get these items to donate” was her favorite part of the night.
After the meal, the troop was responsible for picking up and washing the dishes. Once completed, they were able to pass out the warm supplies they brought to the Rescue Mission.
Brownie Abbie Brummels recalls her favorite part of the night, “My favorite part was handing out the warm supplies to everyone.”
This outreach opportunity touched each of the Laurel Brownie Troop in many different ways.
Brownie Taelynn Settje said, “I liked handing out the pies to all the people and I liked washing the dishes. It was nice to help there.”
Mavis Jonas said, “It was awesome serving pies. I learned to be nice and caring. It’s important to give to others that might not have as much.”
The “famous pies” the girls shared with the Rescue Mission were the pies from their recent fundraising event.
The troop was able to purchase pies with the money raised from selling. The troop has future plans to use the fundraising money to help with other outreach ministries, as well as the occasional fun outings.
Arduser was very thankful for the Laurel Girl Scouts coming to help. He reflected on how uplifting the evening was, not only for those who attend and frequent the Rescue Mission but as well as the Girl Scout Troop.
Martin is not only the Laurel Brownie and Laurel Juniors Girl Scout leader, she is also the Northeast Nebraska Recruitment Specialist for the Spirit of Nebraska Council, which covers 22 northeast Nebraska counties.
Martin has held the position as Northeast Nebraska Recruitment Specialist since February. However, she has a long history with the Girl Scouts. She first became a Girl Scout in Kindergarten at the Daisy level. Martin continued through her senior year, receiving her silver award. Through the Girl Scouts, She was able to travel to Switzerland, France, and Italy.
Martin’s positive experiences are the reason she has continued to be passionate about the Girl Scout program.
Arduser is the Area Missionary and Camp Assurance Director. He has been involved in the ministry at the Norfolk Rescue Mission for about the last seven years. Arduser serves on the Board for the Norfolk Rescue Mission. He is in charge of leading the worship service the second Tuesday of each month.
The Norfolk Rescue Mission has been around for 21 years. It was Arduser’s mother that first heard about the mission center and shared the information with her son. He teamed up with Dennis Gothier in starting a Bible study and providing food. Over the years, the two have invited others to use their God given talents to help the ministry.
The Norfolk Rescue Mission helps residents who are not only in physical need but spiritual need. The mission has four buildings. These buildings provide much needed shelter for families, men, women and children, overnight stays, and disciple men and women. Disciple men and women are members of the Rescue mission receiving practical skills and spiritual training to aid them to get and maintain jobs.
As we move into the Christmas season, the Girl Scouts are coming up with many ideas for outreach in our local and surrounding communities. The troops will team up to offer pictures with Santa during Night Of Lights in Laurel on Dec. 7. The troop will be handing out Santa Bags with goodies donated by local businesses. This year the photos will be available on the Night Of Lights Facebook page as a digital download. All are welcome to come visit Santa and be greeted by the friendly, giving faces of the Laurel Girl Scout Troops.
More on the local Girls Scouts will be published in an upcoming issue of the Advocate.


we continue through this season of giving, look for part two of how the Girl Scout troop continues to celebrate this giving season and how they are learning ‘tis better to give than receive.