Photo by Kim Rabe

Members of the Watseka Fire Department presented a program on fire safety to members of Girl Scout Troop 2529 in October. In addition to learning vital emergency techniques, the girls toured a fire truck and learned about its equipment. Shown in the front row (left to right) are: Dakota Schroeder, Hayden Peters, Cadence Schroeder, Sophie Deem, Arie Lopez-Gargo, Aaliyah Marquez, Madison Evetts, Siana Hernandez-Mendez and Tom Sandeno. Sitting on the upper step of the truck are Madison Dawes, Payton Gowler, Brooklynn Rabe, Quinn Butzow and Jasmine Schroeder.

The Oct. 14 meeting of Watseka Girl Scout Troop 2529 opened with the Pledge of Allegiance and the recitation of the Girl Scout promise and law.

Leaders Angie Potts and Brittney Schroeder asked the girls to tell about things they knew happen in October. Of special importance, the birthday of Girl Scout founder Juliette Gordon Low is Oct. 31. She was born in 1860 in Savannah, Ga. October is also Breast Cancer Awareness Month and it was noted Ms. Low had breast cancer.

October is Fire Safety Awareness/Prevention Month. Three members of the Watseka Fire District – Dakota Schroeder, Tom Sandeno and Hayden Peters – were on hand to talk to the girls about fire safety techniques. Members were reminded to make sure the smoke/carbon monoxide detectors in their home work properly and they talked about ways to get out of a burning home. Though most of the girls were familiar with Stop-Drop-Roll, they practiced the technique.

Later, the troop met outside by one of the department’s fire trucks. Most of the compartments were opened so the girls could see what was inside and were told how each item was used in an emergency situation. The troop presented the firemen with a special gift at the end of the meeting. Each member received a plastic fire helmet and a packet of fire safety information.

Leaders led discussion on fall product sales, which went through Oct. 21, and noted the four Watseka Girl Scout troops were hosting a Halloween party on Friday, Oct. 25. Members received their new folders for the new Girl Scout year and were reminded they needed to be responsible for their bags and folders for each meeting.

At the Oct. 29 meeting, the woman of the month was Sally Ride. Members learned a lot of facts about Ms. Ride, such as she was the first American woman into space and was the youngest to go into space at the age of 32. She went into space not once, but twice. She was initially interested in tennis (she began playing at age 10) but took the path to space instead. She wrote five space-related children’s books and she had a Navy ship named after her in 2014. The girls designed a “postage stamp” featuring Sally Ride after the meeting.

A thank-you note from the Watseka Park District had been received and was shared.

Leader Potts brought in several Girl Scout badge books and the troop discussed some of the changes in the badges members can earn. Back in the day, badges could be earned for sewing, car repair, fire building, reading, fashion, fitness and reducing stress. Other badges which could be earned even earlier were for metal work, leather work, needlecraft, book binding, infused glass, music,garden, nature and maps. Potts also described the subtle changes in the Girl Scout Promise and Oath.

Potts noted “a lot has changed but a lot has stayed the same.”

Members then assembled “birthday bags” which included a cake mix, icing, balloons, sprinkles and candles.

For November, the girls will learn about Sandra Day O’Connor.