Velinia Blanton is a stay-at-home mom that has dedicated the last six years to being a Girl Scout leader. Having been a Girl Scout herself, she said Scouting made a lasting impact on her life.
“My daughter, Amber, has been in Girl Scouts since she was in kindergarten,” said Blanton, of Wallins Creek. “The girls do fundraisers and community projects. We find coats for children who need them, do food drives, help the Harlan County Humane Society and many other things like that. We take the girls on trips and teach them how to camp, how to be confident in themselves and teach them leadership skills.”
Blanton said she became involved in Girl Scout leadership when her daughter became old enough to become a Scout Daisy. She said at that time they didn’t have a Daisy group in the Wallins Creek area, so she decided to begin a Daisy group herself. She now has Daisies, Brownies and Juniors.
Daisy Girl Scouts are K-4 to first grade girls. Brownies are second- and third-graders and Juniors are girls aged 8 to 11. Cadettes are sixth- to eighth-graders, Seniors are ninth to tenth grade, Ambassadors are grade 10 through 12 and Adult Girl Scouts are age 18 and up.
“I love it,” said Blanton. “I love being there when these young girls realize they can do things for themselves. That they don’t have to have mommy right there to do it for them. When we take them camping and the first time they cook their own meal or build their own fire is so rewarding. When you teach them to sew for the first time, they get so excited because they have done something on their own. It gets me excited because this is building these girls’ confidence in themselves. It’s not just sewing, cooking and bead work, you teach them so much more.”
Blanton’s husband, Jonathan, a coal miner, helps with the Cub Scouts where their son, 7-year-old Dustin, is a member. She said they both feel every child deserves a chance and there is “no bad kid.”
“I encourage Scouting of any kind, even 4-H,” said Blanton. “We coordinate a lot of our activities with 4-H. Raymond Cox has been great helping us with a lot of activities for our girls.”
The second annual Scout-A-Palooza will be from 5 p.m. until 6 p.m. on Aug. 24 at Camp ‘O Cumberland near Wallins Creek. This is an event open to all girls aged kindergarten through twelfth grade who are interested in becoming a Girl Scout.
Reach Nola Sizemore at 606-573-4510 or at email@example.com