Girl Scout says group is running low on members in Dayton

Monica Stephenson is looking for more Girl Scouts.

She's planned a hike, an arts activity, a lesson on birding, skits, sun-tea making and more at a six-hour day camp Sept. 24 at Como Park across from Dayton Elementary School.

The camp is free to any interested kindergarten through seventh-grade girl who wants to learn more about Girl Scouts. The registration deadline is Monday.

"It's called Princess Boot camp, but despite it's name, it's not about being a princess," Monica said. "I've planned a bunch of activities that are sort of Girl Scout things to let girls know what they could be doing in Girl Scouts. Hopefully, this will get more girls involved in the Dayton area."

When she's done with Camp Princess Boot Camp, 13-year-old Monica, a Cadet Girl Scout, will receive a silver award for her project, which is similar to the Boy Scout's Eagle award.

She may also succeed in building up Girl Scouting in the Lyon County area, which only has a junior and Cadet troop right now - no Brownies at all - which means no one to sell Girl Scout cookies.

"We used to have quite a few troops as early as three years ago," said her mother Lynn Stephenson. "Right now, there's no Brownies and no Daisies at all and when the girls come around selling cookies, it's usually the younger ones."

Monica, who joined the organization as a Brownie in second grade, in Roseburg, Ore., moved to Dayton with her family several years later. The move kept her from finding a troop immediately, but when she did it was in Storey County.

"We did find one that was up in Virginia City, but that junior troop is gone now," she said.

Registration is required for the day camp, so organizers can accurately provide supplies. The hope is that five to 10 girls interested in each of the different ranks - Daisies, Brownies, Juniors and Cadets - will come. The event will be supervised by Girl Scout adults.

"What we're trying to do is help parents understand how fun Girl Scouting can be and maybe encourage a parent to be a leader," Stephenson said.

Monica has already completed her bronze award, at the Junior level, by making stuffed ducks for the Lyon County Health Nurse to give to young children receiving shots. Princess Boot Camp will complete her silver. When she becomes a Senior scout, she'll work on her gold.

"The bronze, silver and gold are the equivalent of a Boy Scout Eagle award," Monica said. "However, we have to do three instead of one, so it's much harder."

If you go

What: Princess Boot Camp for girls

When: 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday

Where: Como Park, across the street from Dayton Elementary School, 285 Old Dayton Valley Road

Cost: Free

To register: Call Lynn Stephenson at 246-1789

- Contact reporter Maggie O'Neill at or 881-1219.


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