Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

The Girl Scouts needs you! More than 1,000 girls want to join troops

For about three months every year, Janien Hiatt lives, thinks and breathes cookies.

Specifically, Girl Scout cookies.

Hiatt is the "cookie mom" for both of her daughters' Girl Scout troops. She took on the role of handling the cookie sales so that the troop leaders could focus on the bimonthly meetings and outdoor excursions.

"I don't do bugs, and I don't do heat," Hiatt said with a laugh. "I live for cookie season."

With 1,300 girls on a waiting list, the Girl Scouts of West Central Florida says it needs more people like Hiatt. Volunteers are the backbone of the organization, and Girl Scout rules require two adult volunteers per troop.

"The reason they are waiting is because we don't have enough troop leaders," said GSWCF spokeswoman Jennifer Medeiros.

Medeiros said the organization is seeking volunteers to come forward to lead a troop. Though trooper leaders are the agency's biggest need, volunteers are also needed to help at the camps, assist in training or support a troop the way Hiatt does.

From young professionals to retirees, all are welcome to serve as volunteers, Medeiros said. Anyone working directly with the girls must complete a background check.

"That's the nice thing about the Girl Scouts," Medeiros said. "It's really for everybody."

Medeiros hopes the community will help. The organization has an amazing impact on the lives of young girls, she said.

"It really helps them build skills that will help them for a lifetime," she said.

Hiatt said Scouting is a a family affair. Her husband, Michael, is a volunteer. He is a frequent helper when the girls — Cassie, 10, and Diana, 8 — sell cookies.

Hiatt, who lives in Brandon, said she gives her time to the two troops just as volunteers helped her troop when she was a young Girl Scout.

"You're making a difference in a girl's life," she said. "It's all out of love in your heart for the girls."

For more information on how to join, volunteer, reconnect with or donate to Girl Scouts of West Central Florida, visit www.gswcf.org or call toll-free 1-800-881-4475. The group represents eight counties, including Hernando, Hillsborough, Pinellas, Polk and Pasco.

Contact Monica Bennett at hillsnews@tampabay.com.

The Girl Scouts needs you! More than 1,000 girls want to join troops 09/04/14 [Last modified: Thursday, September 4, 2014 10:08am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. A boy and a girl stare at the camera from their house after Hurrciane Maria hit the eastern region of the island, in Humacao, Puerto Rico, Tuesday, September 20, 2017. The strongest hurricane to hit Puerto Rico in more than 80 years destroyed hundreds of homes, knocked out power across the entire island and turned some streets into raging rivers in an onslaught that could plunge the U.S. territory deeper into financial crisis. [Associated Prss]
  2. Young girl injured by 105 mph foul at Yankee Stadium renews call for more netting

    Ml

    NEW YORK — A young girl at Yankee Stadium was injured by a 105 mph foul ball off the bat of Todd Frazier during Wednesday's game against Minnesota, leading some players to call for protective netting to be extended.

    Baseball fans reacts as a young girl is tended to before she is carried out of the seating area after being hit by a line drive in the fifth inning of a baseball game between the New York Yankees and Minnesota Twins, Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2017, at Yankee Stadium in New York. [Associated Press]
  3. Even a weakened Irma leaves its mark on Pasco

    Hurricanes

    It was a Category 5, a Category 3, a tropical storm. It was Hurricane Irma, and she turned out to be a little fickle by the time she touched Pasco County.

    But she had strong breath.

    Above, James Robbins of New Port Richey paddles on Elfers Parkway after checking on his cats living on the second floor of his home on the Anclote River.
  4. Photo of the Day for September 21, 2017 - A Gorgeous sunset on the gulf

    Human Interest

    Today's Photo of the Day comes from Evan Kaplan of New Port Richey, FL.

  5. State shuts down Hollywood nursing home where 9 died in scorching heat

    State Roundup

    HOLLYWOOD — The Hollywood Hills nursing home that became a sweltering deathtrap for nine seniors after Hurricane Irma was shut down Wednesday.

    Dawn Schonwetter stops to look at a memorial of flowers and messages left on the sidewalk of the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills on Saturday, Sept. 16, 2017. Nine residents of the nursing home died in the wake of Irma, including one who was added to the death toll on Tuesday. [AL DIAZ | Miami Herald]