03/19/07 — GSA's 95th w/pic

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GSA's 95th w/pic

By Bonnie Edwards
Published in News on March 19, 2007 1:56 PM

Sonya Ross camped on the side of a mountain in a blizzard while doing Girl Scout wilderness training in Alaska.

"We learned how to make snow caves. It was a wild, scary thing, but I was glad I got to do it," said Sonya, whose mother, Sandy Morgan, got her started in Girl Scouting.

Her 17-year-old daughter, Teagan, says she's not sure, but she thinks she probably will become a Girl Scout leader like her mother and grandmother. She already helps her grandmother to gain leadership hours.

And Teagan's 4-year-old cousin, Abby Stevens, says she wants to join the Daisies next year.

Three and four generations of Wayne County girls and women are sharing memories as they help celebrate the organization's 95th anniversary.

The girls say they're having fun. Their mothers and grandmothers say the adventures and good training have given the organization its longevity and kept them involved through the years.

"It's kind of like a family. It's something you just do," Sonya said about the family tradition, which started because her mother and father were in the military and wanted to maintain normalcy.

No matter where they moved, Scouting was their constant.

Girl Scouting made the family's time in Alaska go fast, said Sandy Morgan, who has been leading Girl Scouts for 33 years.

She is a Scout leader for the younger girls at Brogden United Methodist Church now. Sonya has been working with the older girls there for 12 years.

Sonya said the Girl Scouts also opened doors for her and her daughter.

"How many kids off the street can say I'm going to go on a llama trek or caving or rock climbing? There's nothing wrong with staying home playing video games, but you've got to have this other stuff, too," she said.

Volunteer Lillie Thompson said Girl Scouting has brought her and her daughter many opportunities they would not have had otherwise.

"I got to travel to France and England, California and Seattle Washington. I went up and down the East Coast. My daughter when she was a young girl learned horseback riding, and she learned to sail."

Mrs. Thompson has been a troop leader 31 years. Her girls meet at the Girl Scout council office in Goldsboro.

Her daughter, Tonda Dawson, also became a troop leader.

She never planned on it. It just happened.

"Mom never suggested it. She just mentioned one day that there was a troop that didn't have a leader. I decided to try it. A couple years turned into eight."

Coastal Carolina Chief Operating Officer Beth Casey joined Brownie Girl Scouts in the second grade and has been Scouting ever since.

"Through Girl Scouting I traveled around the world, learned to present my ideas in front of group, became an expert sailor and made lifelong friends," she said.

She hiked the Appalachian Trail and went to Germany and Switzerland.

Her family believed in Girl Scouting. Her mother was a Girl Scout, and her grandmother was her mother's troop leader. Mrs. Casey and her sister make the third generation, and her 4-year-old daughter will become the fourth generation next year.

Coastal Carolina Girl Scout Council serves more than 9,000 girls in 21 counties spanning Eastern North Carolina. For information, call 734-6231.