September 8, 2023

Windham Girl Scout experience offers friendship, teaches responsibility

By Kaysa Jalbert

The Girl Scouts of Windham are all about building self-confidence and having a safe space for girls to connect and, well, be girls. As the school year starts up once again, registration for Girl Scout troops in Windham stays open for girls to join at any time to keep them busy, teach them new skills and give them a chance to make new friends.

Registration is open year-round in Windham for girls in
second through eighth grades to join the Girl Scouts
of America. The program teaches responsibility,
self-confidence and introduces girls to new friends.
The troops stay busy year-round with community volunteering activities such as adopting a family for Christmas, making Valentine’s Day cards for hospice patients, Earth Day community service yard clean-ups, chalking schools for Teacher Appreciation Day, and that’s just a small sum up of everything they do.

According to Troop 5030 Leader Jessica Bridges of Windham, her troop has been focusing a lot on self-confidence and self-care.

“It’s important for these girls to learn self-confidence and to have a safe space to be able to connect with other girls because a lot of our Juniors and Cadets are in that age where it can be hard to be a girl and make new friends,” Bridges said.

Registration for Troop 5030 or any other troop in Windham is open year-round. Parents can sign-up their daughters on the website or call the Maine Girl Scout Council in South Portland and find a troop in their area.

“I always recommend finding a troop in your school because you get to see other troop members in the hall and give them that extra sense of having a safe space,” says Bridges.

Troop 5030 began six years ago as a group of six girls at Manchester School in Windham and has now grown to 17 members, with the troop ranging in ages from 6 to 12.

Kindergarten to first-grade students are considered Daisies, second to third graders are Brownies, Juniors are in grades fourth to fifth and the remaining sixth, seventh and eighth graders are Cadets. The troop is currently accepting second-year Daisies and first-year Juniors.

Meetings for Troop 5030 are held once a month with the entire troop, followed by weekly meetings for each age group.

Bridges says that this helps keep the troop organized and makes it easier for the troop to meet according to everyone’s availability. It also allows for the girls to better connect and express themselves with girls similar in age.

At the meetings, the scouts learn to memorize and recite the Girl Scout Promise and Law. Troop 5030 uses a matching game to put the statements to help them memorize.

“Then we work on different badges. One of our big ones is world thinking day that takes us two or three meetings to finish but in all our meetings this particular year we are focusing on self-confidence and being ourselves,” said Bridges. “We will talk about what we like about ourselves and working on teaching different forms of self-care.”

Troop 5030 is currently saving up to go on more field trips such as visits to the city of Portland and hopefully soon, a trip to Boston.

“The Boston Museum of Science would be a huge learning experience,” said Bridges.

The girls also sell Girl Scout cookies and fall products each year to raise money for supplies and field trips and recently they set up a lemonade stand at Dundee Park in Windham to help bring in extra funds for future trips.

Aside from earning badges, the scouts also work on Journeys, which are awards they can earn that takes them through four badges and encourages them to work on integrity, critical thinking, problem-solving skills and entrepreneurship.

Parents are always welcome and encouraged to volunteer with the troop. Parents attend meetings and join council expeditions as a way to stay involved.

“I would definitely recommend signing up for Girl Scouts,” Bridges said. “Our particular group of girls when they started out were a lot of very introverted girls and they still are, but they learn to be confident with each other, and then by themselves, and the older girls are always teaching the younger ones. Just getting them out there and seeing how they make these friendships on their own, it's just so interesting to watch.”

To sign-up or for more details, visit <

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