By Marvin Luu
Peter the Anteater and four members of the UCI Spirit Squad paid a pleasant visit to Daisy Troop 4516—one of many girl scout troops stationed in Orange County—at the University Hills Community Center on Tuesday night, promoting the importance of being courageous and strong, respecting oneself and others, and also protecting the body through eating healthy and exercising.
The troop, which consists of 17 five to six year olds, have done plenty of services around the community which includes collecting food for the Second Harvest Food Bank to sending packages overseas for the troops. Girl scout Co-leader Karla McHale has been pleased with the initiative of the troop, given the fact that the troop had organized just four months earlier.
“Our troop has done wonderful things for the community even though they’re just five years old or six years old,” McHale said, “Since October, the girls have already prepared care packages for the military stations overseas…we went and we sung carols to the seniors at the Regents Points in December…little by little they learn more about the community and being sisters.”
For their services, the girls are rewarded “petals” that cover the different merits that they have achieved or learned through their experiences. On Tuesday night, the troop earned their petals for “courage and strength” and also for “respecting myself and others.”
As the scouts’ parents watched from the sidelines, the troop enthusiastically engaged in activities that ranged from simple leg and arm stretches to blood pumping jumping jacks. The Spirit Squad also took the time to teach the younglings how to “zot” along with a couple of other routines and cheers at which the group regularly performs at many sports outings on campus.
“The cheering squad and Peter [the Anteater] were wonderful and we are very grateful for their visit,” Karla said. “The look of wonder in their faces when they were hearing the [the Spirit Squad] speak and seeing Peter said it all. That spark of happiness in their eyes is what makes a difference.”
The troop was not the only one to walk away content with the meeting as junior Melina Tran, who is currently part of the ‘Eaters cheer team and was on hand at the event, was also thrilled by the experience of working with the girls.
“I was once in their place and so it was a little humbling to be their role model,” Tran said. “I thought it was really good for me and them at the same time as it helps me remember that I have to [eat healthy and exercise] too.”
As first year girl scouts, Daisy Troop 4516 will continue to hold their weekly meetings on Tuesdays from 6-7pm at the University Hills Community Center before potentially moving into another group next year.