Copperas Cove Girl Scouts set sights on STEM camp

By LYNETTE SOWELL
Cove Leader-Press 

The Double-C Girl Scouts service unit in Copperas Cove has a lofty goal—raising enough money to send all its registered Girl Scouts to Orlando, Florida in August, for “STEM” camp—science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.
The local service unit came together on Tuesday evening to hold a spaghetti dinner benefit which included a silent auction. 
Copperas Cove Girl Scouts unit director and Troop 6226 leader, Crystal Antoine, talked about their efforts to raise funds and their ultimate goal. 
“We are taking 95 girls from the Copperas Cove area who are registered Girl Scouts out to Orlando, Florida and they will be studying with the Disney Imagineers for six days, where they will study STEM,” said Antoine. “The CEO of Girl Scouts of the United States has made a pact. She said because women are so under-represented in this field, we are going to do everything we can to get more women into this field over the next decade. 
“So we’re starting locally. We’re taking them as young as your kindergarteners. Proceeds from the event are going to help these girls raise $122,000.”
Antoine’s troop meets twice per month at Grace United Methodist Church, where the Double-C Girl Scouts hosted the meal. 
In addition to the meal, cooked up by the leaders, scouts served by taking tickets, pouring beverages and drink refills. Dessert was Girl Scout cookies, of course.
“The Copperas Cove Double-C service unit has nine troops in Copperas Cove. We have girls from Cove, Kempner, Fort Hood, and Killeen,” said Antoine. “Three troops went to camp last year, a total of 23 girls, where they studied marine conservation.”
Antoine said there was great community support behind the event, with businesses like HEB, McAlister’s Deli, Target, Lowe’s, and Academy donating, as well as small business owners such as those selling Scentsy. The scouts themselves also donated items for the silent auction. 
She said the troops are continuing other efforts to raise funds, such as Troop 6120 having a fundraiser at Chipotle on post Saturday night. Her own troop, 6226, is currently having a “flamingo flocking” that’s going on through December 30. 
They are already looking forward to the cookie season, which starts January 17. For every $4 box of cookies, the troop keeps 80 cents. Antoine explained that part of the funds raised from cookie sales go toward marketing and packaging, but that the remainder of the funds go right back to the Girl Scouts of Central Texas, which uses the funds to provide camp scholarships for Girl Scouts. 
“It stays within our area,” said Antoine. She said that for the spaghetti dinner, $7 out of every $8 ticket would go to the Copperas Cove girls.
Riley Weaver is seven years old and in the first grade and belongs to Troop 6226. She said her favorite thing about Girl Scouts is camping and trips. 
While she might not know exactly what “STEM” is, she was very excited about the opportunity to stay in a hotel with a pool. 
“That’s all she knows, is it’s a STEM program,” said Riley’s mother, Stacy. 
Riley is a Daisy and in her second year in Girl Scouts. She is looking forward to the Florida trip, when she also will participate in her “bridge” ceremony when she is promoted to a Brownie. 
“She’s learning a lot. She’s had a lot of fun,” said Stacy Weaver. “Crystal talks about part of the Girl Scouts is becoming leaders for our community. They build confidence, self-esteem, they teach the girls how to be strong.”

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