Community oriented

Local troops celebrate National Girl Scouts Week

MANISTEE — As is often the case, the finale was the best part.

The Manistee County Girl Scouts visited the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) Ranger Station in Manistee on Wednesday, and at the end of the presentation and tour, the girls watched fire flairs go off in the parking lot.

The flairs are used by the USFS to start prescribed burns in hard to reach areas.

The visit was part of a celebration of National Girl Scouts Week, which included visits to the Manistee Coast Guard Station and forestry station.

“We wanted to have some more activities during (National) Girl Scouts Week so they can get out in the community, and be recognized by the community,” said Char-Lin Mortensen, service unit director for the Manistee County Girl Scouts.

While the Daisies, Brownies and Juniors were at the forest station, the Cadettes, Seniors and Ambassadors visited the Coast Guard station. Both groups toured both stations, as they were flipped on Monday.

Mark Herberger, a planner with the USFS, began the event with a Power Point presentation detailing what USFS is responsible for in the forest, which includes a lot more than fire.

USFS is also responsible for forest management, which includes wildlife habitat, tree health, timber, fisheries and more.

“We wanted to bring the girls to local programs that make a difference in Manistee: programs that they can volunteer at, learn about careers at, and get a better understanding of what goes on there,” Mortensen said.

Girl Scouts have had a presence in Manistee County since at least the 1940s, she said. The county encompasses 15 troops, which includes 130 girls from kindergarten to 12th grade.

National Girl Scouts Week is from March 8-14. The national Girl Scouts organization is 103 years old.

“We have multi-generations of Girl Scouts here in Manistee County, which is nice,” Mortensen said.

The troops kicked off the week with a pinewood derby on Saturday. Girl Scout Sunday was celebrated at each girl’s place of worship. On Friday, scouts will wear their uniforms to school.

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Posted by Justine McGuire

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