Tallmadge -- Kim Stock claims to co-lead the oldest Girl Scout troop still existing in Tallmadge. Stock and fellow Troop Leader Shawna Jones have watched eight young women grow from Daisies to Ambassadors, the final level of Girl Scouts.
According to Stock, Troop 90710 is one of 11 registered troops in Tallmadge. The troop started out as 18 kindergarteners in September of 2001 and concluded with eight high school graduates with plans to attend college in the fall.
"They start out as a bunch of giggly little girls that just like to play and have fun," said Stock. "They were all into earning badges, doing projects and service awards and all kinds of things. Then, as they got a little older, they all just wanted to hang out and go camping and talk about girl things, I guess!"
According to Stock, most troops disband before the members reach high school, and co-leaders tend to leave when their daughters leave the program to pursue other interests.
Two years ago, Troop 91412 had four scouts in their senior year of high school, and this year Troop 90741 has five 10th-graders.
Each troop member earned her Bronze and Silver Award by the end of their Girl Scout careers.
One member of Troop 90710, Alyssa Smith, is on her way to achieving a Gold Award, the highest Girl Scout honor, the equivalent of the Boy Scouts Eagle Award. Smith is using her own funds to paint a dance studio for her final project. She plans to join the National Guard, and in fulfilling the gold award, she will enter in at a higher rank.
"We have earned so many [service awards] I'd have to go back and count to tell you what these girls have accomplished," Stock said. "They are just off the charts with the things they've done."
Stock said the troop has contributed greatly to its community. In the past, they've donated money to the Akron Zoo, volunteered within the community and invited younger troops to attend their camping trips.
Anna Markovic, 18, plans to study biology at the University of Akron in the fall. She said her favorite memory from the troop is attending the annual party at Bierce's Lake because everyone had the freedom to just kick back, swim or eat.
"It was really awesome," Markovic said. "I got really close to all those girls. We still got together to hang out as group and it was always fun even though we didn't hang out at school or outside of school. We still got together, and it became like family after awhile."
Stock said the camping trips always worked out whether the girls or the troop leaders planned the get-away. Jones was the hiker of the group while Stock enjoyed roasting marshmallows around the campfire.
"Definitely camping," Sarah Peck, 18, answered when asked what her favorite memories from Girl Scouts were. "It was a tradition every single year where we did "pighetti"-- where you ate spaghetti with spaghetti sauce, but you had to eat it with your face."
Peck said the troop has been camping two to three times a year since kindergarten, and they have camped all over the state. She plans to earn a double major in theater and math and join the Peace Corps after college.
For the 13th consecutive year, the troop gathered for a picnic graduation party at Bierce's Lake Aug. 4, its final get-together. Stock said the there were a lot of tears at the party, but added "it was wonderful." She is registered in Girl Scouts until September and would like to find a way to stay involved. However, she is not certain she wants to take on another troop of Daisies.
"We always did everything with the girls," Stock said. "If they had a project we were right in there with them. We didn't sit back and say, 'Do it this way.' We worked with them, and we made it fun. They made it fun for us because they were such a fun bunch of girls."
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