SCVNews.com | SCV Girl Scout Troop 582 celebrates bonding ceremony

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Eight fourth-graders from Girl Scout Troop 582 advanced from Brownies to Juniors in a special ceremony attended by family and friends, as well as Santa Clarita Mayor Lauren Veste, the keynote speaker.

A transition event was held on Saturday, September 24th at the Stevenson Ranch Library. Each Girl Scout walked across a makeshift bridge made of brown and green balloons. Weste congratulated Troop 582 on their accomplishments and praised them for their impact on the community in just five short months.

Congratulations to the Girl Scouts of Troop 582: Ella Fernandez, Kaya Hunter, Jacqueline Peters, Clara Pope, Kaylee Samuels, Pampoosa Shea, Sarah Song, and Yunha Song.

Girl Scout Troop 582 is led by Valencia residents Edna Dimatago-Fernandez and Gunther Shea. The troop started with a few Girl Scouts from Valencia Valley Elementary School. Until May 2022, the group included representatives from three elementary schools in the Newhall School District, including Valencia Valley, Stevenson Ranch and Peachland Avenue elementary schools.

Many of the girls in the troop looked forward to joining a Girl Scout troop in second grade, but with in-person meetings banned due to the pandemic and Scouting limited to Zoom meetings, there was no incentive to start a troop then.

Since the indoor mask mandate was lifted in mid-March this year, it was the perfect time to start a whole new army!

It all started when Dimatago-Fernandez and Shea attended a scout meeting in April 2022. Both of their daughters were third graders at Valencia Valley Elementary School, and since many of the established troops weren’t accepting new Girl Scouts, they were asked to start a new troop.

Dimatago-Fernandez and Shea had no idea what they would leave the meeting with as troop leaders, but they came forward and decided to work together. Because their daughters were so eager to join the scouts. A third father, Joo Hyun Ha, who also had twin daughters attending Valencia Valley Elementary School, became the troop’s treasurer.

With all the obstacles of the past two years, Troop 582 was determined to achieve much as Brownie Girl Scouts before moving on to the Junior level in October 2022.

“Just because these girls have been Brownies for five months doesn’t mean they can’t achieve a lot and do great things in the community,” said Troop Commander Dimatago-Fernandez. “Essentially, during our first meeting of the troops, we started working on a special project for Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital. Our Brownie Squad created 19 handmade posters for nurses. It was for their Nurses Day celebration on May 11.”

Renee Leon of the Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital Foundation ensured that the posters were displayed in each of the nursing units at the hospital. It was nice to see pictures of nurses holding up posters created by the military.

“It is very important to give back and pay it forward. Our unit felt a sense of accomplishment when they saw how their good deeds made the nurses so happy. And, of course, we are very grateful to our nurses. They were there for our community when Covid-19 hit,” Dimatago-Fernandez said.

For five months after formation, troop leaders held bi-monthly events for Brownie Girl Scouts. In addition, workshops were organized so that the girls could earn up to three Brownie badges before the transition ceremony in September.

The Space Adventure badge was the first badge earned by the squad. The timing was perfect as a total lunar eclipse was due to occur on the evening of May 15th. The squads met at Valencia Valley Park and participated in a lunar eclipse workshop. Every Girl Scout could see the lunar eclipse through a huge telescope, which was pretty amazing.

The First Aid Badge was the second Brownie Badge they earned. Barbara Barnes, a registered nurse who is also a Valencia resident, taught the girls the basics of first aid, including what to do in an emergency, from calling 911 to treating burns. They also learned how to perform the Heimlich maneuver on others and on themselves. It was certainly an informative and important seminar.

The third badge was the Fair Play Brownie badge. The squads met at Valencia Valley Park in mid-August and the girls learned all about teamwork. Since the troop was made up of Girl Scouts from three different schools, the girls learned how to play as a team during several rounds of “tug of war.” They also participated in an “egg game” where they would pair up and carry a raw egg on a paper towel across the park. This was a fun way to earn a third Brownie Badge.

The squads also participated in some fun and educational activities, including a tour of Newhall’s Old Town Library where they learned about the summer reading program. The girls got a ticket, flipped through the books and even had a chance to see what was going on behind the scenes. They were delighted to see how the book sorting machine worked thanks to the children’s librarian. After the tour, the girls went to Pops Artisanal Creamery on Main Street for a treat.

The troop’s fun activity in July was the Color Me Mine Scout Party on Town Center Drive. The girls had a tour of the kiln, got acquainted with the process of firing and glazing. The best part is that each Girl Scout was able to paint a ceramic piece and create clay art. In addition, they must earn an exclusive Color Me Mine Scout patch.

According to Dimatoga-Fernandez, the Girl Scouts also learned about leadership and public speaking, which are very important life skills. In addition, she emphasized that it was very important that Weste was present for their overcoming.

“The presence of a female mayor at the ceremony teaches our girls that women can hold positions of power. Mayor Veste has inspired each of our Girl Scouts to be leaders in the community and beyond,” Dimatoga-Fernandez said.

Now that the girls are on the next level of their Girl Scout journey, they’re looking to help more people, including nonprofits in Santa Clarita. Girls understand that community service makes the world a better place.

In 2023, the troop is looking forward to finally selling Girl Scout Cookies during Cookie Season, an important fundraiser for their troop. Because their troop was not formed until April of this year, the troop was unable to sell cookies in 2022.

In addition, the girls really want to participate in the Santa Clarita 4th of July parade with Weste.

It’s an exciting time to be a Girl Scout. For more information about the troop, visit their Facebook page @GirlScoutsTroop582. If you have a fourth grader interested in joining Girl Scout Troop 582, contact Troop Leader Dimatago-Fernandez at (818) 730-8366.

Celebration with Girl Scout Troop 582, Mayor Lauren West
poses with the troop at a crossing ceremony Sept. 24 at the Stevenson Ranch Library.

Henry Mayo Nanny Troop 582

Nurses at Henry Mayo Hospital pose for a Happy Nurses Day
Poster created by Troop 582.

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