Deputy teaches ‘Girl Power’

Staff writer

Last week’s Marion County Girl Scout and Brownie camp at Marion County Park and Lake was filled with events that demonstrated the theme “Girl Power.”

“The Girl Scouts are all about building confidence and being strong, so we decided to build the camp theme around that,” said Kathy Meierhoff, Marion troop leader. “With all the bullying happening everywhere, we hope this week the girls learned ways to feel more confident and grow up to be strong women.”

Scouts completed water safety events, made crafts for charity, and listened to a safety demonstration by Deputy Wilma Mueller.

Mueller said she thought it was important for her to teach the scouts because she is the only woman deputy in the county.

She told scouts to listen to their instincts and not to be afraid to speak up if something is not right. She asked them to share examples of what might be a scary situation.

One brownie recalled how a stranger asked whether he could take her home. The brownie said she screamed to get a grown-up’s attention.

“That’s exactly what you all need to do if you’re ever in that situation,” Mueller said. “Yell, scream, say ‘You’re not my mommy, you’re not my daddy.’ Bring attention to yourself so others notice and come help.”

Brownie Katie Ottensmeier also had a scary experience.

“One time I was at Carlsons’ and my mom got lost so I went up to the front of the store and two nice old ladies helped me tell the cashier and find my mom,” she said.

Katie said she had learned how to handle situations like that from listening to safety talks like Mueller’s.

“I know to go to a friend’s house and stay there, stranger danger, and to make noise if someone is bothering me,” she said.

While brownies were learning about safety in the community, older scouts were picking up trash around the lake.

The three-day camp ran through Thursday. Older scouts camped at the lake. Brownies older than fourth grade stayed at the lake Thursday.

 

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