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Valley expanding Girl Scouts

VALLEY — Young girls in the Greater Valley Area will soon have more opportunities to make friends, stay active and seek adventure.

Based out of Valley since last year, the scouts in Girl Scout Troop 5702 have been busy earning badges, selling cookies and attending a variety of outings and camps. Because they are bridging to the higher rank of Brownie and Cadet this month, a new troop in Valley is set to start this October for girls in the Daisy and Junior scouts.

“This year I am excited to see our troop grow in membership,” said Troop 5702 leader and co-founder Laura Pattillo. “I am also excited to see our current and new members grow from their experiences in Girl Scouting.”

Since the troop was started by Pattillo and Amanda Holt, the girls in 5702 have camped out at Kamp Kiwanis and held the annual Girl Scout Cookie sale in addition to their other outings. The new troop, which is not yet numbered, will be similar in scope and have all the expected values of Girl Scouting.

“Girls who join Girl Scouts find a safe place to grow in and a group of friends to share life experiences,” Pattillo said. “They learn how to relate to others, develop their values, and contribute to society. They have a chance to learn how to relate and work with peers in a safe place and fun environment. They also receive guidance from adult volunteers that are contributing members of the community.”

Pattillo explained that the origins of Troop 5702 came out of the necessity for more girl-oriented outlets that the area didn’t yet offer. Girls interested in scouting could drive to Opelika, but she decided to take matters into her own hands.

“The troop started because there was no Daisy group available in our area,” Pattillo said. “At the time, we had interest for the Daisy level and Junior level. There is a Boy Scout troop in our area, but the Girl Scout Troop we started was started before girls were allowed to join the Boy Scouts.  Our sons had a scout offering, but our daughters did not. They wanted to join scouts, and the only way to do that was to start our troop.”

With the Girl Scout Council only allowing 5702 to have two age groups, the necessity for a new troop came with the current scouts ranking up this year. 5702 is accepting second and third graders for their Brownies and sixth, seventh and eighth graders for their Cadettes. An informational meeting at Valley Baptist Church from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 25 will be held for those interested in joining 5702 or becoming a Daisy or Junior scout in the new troop this October.