News: Neillsville - Local Girl Scout Troop 6240 Receives Award (2022)

Contact: Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon

Surnames: Jahn, Oldham, Kruschke, Wirkuty, Newbury, Soderberg, Brehm, Edmo ng, Bushman, Harris, Walter

----Source: Clark County Press (Neillsville, Clark Co., WI) 5/04/2022

Local Girl Scout Troop 6240 Receives Bronze Award (2022)

Two leaders receive volunteer awards

Neillsville Girl Scout 6240 earned the Bronze award for their ”Cares for Kids” initiative. Shown are (l-r) co-leader Jennifer Jahn, Keena Jahn, Felicity Oldham, Ava Kruschke, Annalynn Wirkuty and leader Andrea Kruschke. Not shown but also earning the award were Maddie Newbury, Brooklyn Soderberg and Chloe Brehm. Submitted photo

By Valorie Brecht

Seven girls in Neillsville Girl Scout Troop 6240 have earned the third-highest award in the Girl Scout organization.

Fifth- and sixth-grade students Keena Jahn, Felicity Oldham, Ava Kruschke, Annalynn Wirkuty, Maddie Newbury, Brooklyn Soderberg and Chloe Brehm all received the Bronze Award and were honored at a regional banquet April 24 at the Lilydale vent Venue in Chippewa Falls.

To earn their award, the girls had to go through the “Agent of Change” journey book and complete a “Take Action” project. They wanted to help ease the loneliness and depression that nursing home residents often deal with. So, for their project, girls visited the Neillsville Retirement Community, played bingo with the residents, chatted with them and brought snacks and water.

“This was a great way to give back to our community and bring a little sunshine to residents in our local nursing homes. This is an action that can be done yearly with our Junior troop.” Wrote troop leader Andrea Kruschke in the project repot.

For their main Bronze Award project, the girls needed to do something that would fill a need and have a lasting impact on the community. The decided to run a “Cares for Kids” drive in which they collected items to be given out to children in the foster care system and for Clark County Social Services to have on hand in case kids needed them.

The girls put out donation boxes at BP, Hansen’s IGA, Dollar General and Russell’s of Neillsville to collect personal care items such as toothpaste, tooth brushes, deodorant, hand sanitizer, soap, shampoo and conditioner. They worked with the school to have a friendly competition among the fourth-and fifth-grade classes as to which class could collect the most items. The winning class received a party.

They also set a budget and used money in their troop account to shop for items such as clothing, hair ties, hairbrushes, water bottles, lip balm, sip cups and deodorant.

“This project matters by giving children a sense of support from their community. We are hoping this will give them a sense of love by being able to support them with some basic needs,” Andrea Kruschke explained.

The girls had to put in a minimum of 20 hours on the project. They spent 23 hours planning, talking with Social Services, calling companies to ask for donations, decorating the boxes, collecting donations and shopping.

The Girl Scouts were delayed in completing their project due to COVID but finished it up last summer. Due to the award banquet schedule, they were not honored until this recent banquet. Nevertheless, they and their leaders were just as proud of their accomplishments.

“Our troop worked very well as a team. Each girl did her part by reaching out to organizations and all were accountable for coming to scheduled meetings. They all worked together very ell and brought great ideas to each meeting. They had great energy and were very caring,” Andrea Kruschke said.

Jennifer Edmond also led the group.

Other Awards:

Also, at the banquet April 24, Andrea Kruschke and Joely Walter each received the “Volunteer of Excellence” pin. Fellow Neillsville Girl Scout leader Tricia Bushman nominated them.

Tricia Bushman (l) nominated Andrea Kruschke (middle) and Joely Harris (r) for the Girl Scout Volunteer of Excellence pin, which they both received at the annual banquet April 24. Submitted photo

“Andrea is a dedicated Girl Scout leader with over six years [of] experience,’ Bushman wrote, “She expresses kindness with a friendly smile. You can clearly see she cares for her troop and her community. She enjoys providing advice and insight for almost any situation. Andrea is an excellent role model for her troop, and she reminds the girls to think of others before themselves. She practices being honest, fair friendly and helpful in everyday life.”

Walter is in her second year of leading Brownie scouts (second and third grade).

“She saw the need and jumped on board. She is a very dedicated Girl Scout leader and especially to her troop,” Bushman wrote. “She strives to not only make a difference in her troop, but also in the girls’ personal lives. She has been an excellent role model for her troop. She not only encourages them to be lawful citizens, but also reminds them to think of others before themselves. She practices being honest, fair, friendly and helpful as well.”

In addition, Ava Kruschke was recognized at the banquet for selling cookies to all 50 states during the annual Girl Scout cookie sale. Girl Scout officials said that, to their knowledge, it was first time someone in the Girl Scouts of Northwestern Great Lakes council had ever accomplished that feat.

Fundraising event:

The same group of girls who earned their bronze Award will host a brat fry this Saturday May 7, at the Neillsville Fire Department, in hat they plan to make an annual event, to raise money for their June trip to Savannah, GA, the birthplace of the founder of Girl Scouts. The brat fry will be from 11 3 p.m. The public is invited.




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