Rancho Santa Fe Girl Scout Troop #1651 held a Friendship Day gathering on Friday, Sept. 27 as a way to connect with and honor local seniors and learn from their valuable life experiences.
Girl Scouts Chloe Luwa, Maira Clotfelter and Ava Rose Wehlage planned the event to earn the high honor of the Girl Scout Silver Award. With help from fellow troop members Jewel Perry and Chloe Lindo, the girls took on the event all on their own under the guidance of an adult advisor.
All of the troop members are recent R. Roger Rowe Middle School graduates: the Chloes, Maira and Ava Rose are now freshmen at Torrey Pines High School and Jewel attends Cathedral Catholic High School.
“I never grew up with a grandparent figure so having this experience can mean a lot to me to share friendships and hopefully learn some great advice from people with more wisdom,” said Ava Rose. “Plus I really have a heart to reach out to any seniors who want more companionship and want to feel honored for their life knowledge.”
The Scouts planned the party decorations and treats, made homemade gifts and came up with a list of conversation topics to get into with their new friends. Lauren Reynolds, founder and administrator of At Home Nursing Care in the area, also created a training video for the girls to help them prepare to build community with the seniors.
The Girl Scouts led a marketing campaign to try to get the word out and while attendance was small, it allowed for closer interactions. On the day, the senior guests and girls swapped stories about everything from vacations and memorable experiences to their favorite books—Jules connected with one senior over a shared admiration for “The Bobbsey Twin” books.
To earn the Silver Award, the Scouts had to go on a Cadette journey over the last year, completing a list of activities to earn badges that included trailblazing and “primitive camping” in the torrential rain, “They were troupers,” said troop leader Jan Wehlage.
As part of the Silver Award, the girls left behind a manual in the hopes that the younger troops will make the Friendship Day an annual event.