For more than 100 years, Girl Scouts have stepped up in times of crisis and turmoil, more often than not, providing essentials to those who need it the most. Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, eastern Missouri Girl Scouts continue taking charge, determined to do their part in making the world a better, more positive place. Recently, two local Girl Scouts shared how they’re giving back to those on the frontlines.

Ruth Kamp is 9 years old, and she’s been a Girl Scout since kindergarten. For Ruth, camping has been her favorite experience, creating unforgettable memories with her fellow Girl Scout sisters on the ropes course at Camp Tuckaho. Giving back has been an integral component to Ruth’s Girl Scout Leadership Development Experience as her troop leader and mom, Christine, has organized many volunteer opportunities for her young change-makers. Most recently, they delivered care packages to residents living in a retirement community, spending time with individuals, asking questions and talking.

While Ruth’s life has changed dramatically since COVID-19, one thing has stayed the same, her passion for community service.

“What’s so special about my Girl Scout troop is that they care a lot for their leaders,” Ruth said. “My mom works at an urgent care, and after wearing a mask all day, her ears would hurt. They wanted to help, so they sewed her a headband with buttons on the sides. They saw this made a big difference, so they decided to make more using donated headbands and buttons found from our houses.”

Ruth and her Girl Scout sisters have assembled and sewed more than 45 headbands with buttons that her mom has taken and donated to local health care providers.

“It was really cool to know it wasn’t just me giving back, my entire Girl Scout troop got involved,” she said. “We posted about it on Facebook, so more people are doing this too, the project has just grown.”

Mira Lyer is a 14-year-old Girl Scout who, per COVID-19, juggled a handful of extracurricular activities that included Girl Scout robotics. Nowadays, Mira has been using the time management skills she’s developed over the years to prioritize and tackle her online schoolwork. Her days, which were once filled with friends, the jostling between classes and rehearsals, are now made up of Zoom meetings and family time. Recently, Mira and her mom, Shanthi, have carved out several hours every evening to cut and sew masks for health care providers.

“I’ve been sewing since sixth grade, so I have very basic sewing skills,” Mira said. “So, my mom and I came up with the idea of donating masks to our medical providers. My mom borrowed a sewing machine, so we’ve been doing that and donating them to hospitals where they’re distributing them to those who need them the most. We’ve just been giving masks to a lot of people. Miss Steinmeyer, my robotics coach, gave us the pattern, and I think we’ve donated around 20 total.”

It’s a team effort though, Shanthi cuts out the fabric and then Mira will sew the pieces together. In total, it takes them about 15 minutes per mask.

“We’ve created around four or five masks each day,” Mira said. “Giving back has always been a really important to me, I love to serve. I think Girl Scouts has had a lot to do with that. I feel like now, in this pandemic, it was necessary to do something. There are so many people in hospitals, quarantined, that I felt like I needed to help.”

Eastern Missouri Girl Scouts are accomplishing incredible feats all across the region! If you have a story to share about a Girl Scout or a Girl Scout troop, please share! Email us at communications@girlscoutsem.org. Or, tag us @girlscoutsem. Stay safe!