You get to help people as a Girl Scouts, just ask Bethany Blanchard. In fact, ask almost any Girl Scout from one of the Payson troops and you will hear similar stories of friendship and caring.
"You get to do a lot of stuff," Blanchard said.
On Dec. 8, that stuff included caroling to seniors at area care centers, passing out Christmas cards to those who listened, followed by a party complete with a visit from Santa.
Some of the cards were handmade by individual Girl Scout troops with winter designs.
"I love everything about Scouts," Hailey Lootans, Blanchard's best friend, said.
Girls are organized into different levels for regular scout meetings. The groups are Daisies, ages 5 to 6, Brownies, ages 6 to 8, Juniors, ages 8-11, and young girls, ages 11 to 17, experience Girl Scouting through STUDIO 2B.
All ages joined together for their holiday event.
Jordan Armistead said "We sang "Rudolf" and "Frosty the Snowman" and "Jingle Bells," Brianna Cardis said.
"Jingle Bells is my favorite song because I know it a lot," Armistead said.
"Rudolf is my favorite because he has a red nose," Cardis said.
Did the residents like it when you sang?
"Yeah," Addie Becker said.
She strolled with her troop down the corridors of Powell House and gave out hugs, along with the cards.
It was the third year Heather Rheinhardt has been caroling.
"Singing makes the people listening feel really happy because they don't get many visitors. Actually, it makes me happy, too, because I feel like I did something important with my life, and whenever I do something nice it makes me want to do it again," Rheinhardt said.
For Taurean Stearns and her mother Cathy, involvement with Girl Scouts meant a chance to make new friends. The Stearns family moved from Tucson in August.
Taurean has been in Scouts since she was a Daisy.
"Girl Scouts teaches girls how to interact. There is a fellowship, a sisterhood around it. Taurean is an only child, so it is important for her to have girls to do things with," Cathy said.
"It helps girls know that they can do and be anything," she added.
"I met my best friend, Cheyna, in it," Taurean said.
Camping is another annual event the girls anticipate all year.
"Then we get to be outdoor girls," Taurean said.
For Loren Peters, who has been in Scouts six years, the fun of scout camp is staying in the cabins. Karen Williams, who has been in Scouts almost as long as Peters, said she looks forward to sleeping in her sleeping bag.
In 2008, the seven troops in the Rim Country will travel to a camp northeast of Payson the weekend of April 18. The troop committee is just starting plans for camp and cookout activities. Brownies through Seniors get to stay the weekend. Daisies come up for the day Saturday.
The Scouts have just finished their fall mints and nuts fund raiser for camp, supplies and other field trips.
"One Warm Coat" is their current service project. They are collecting hats, scarves, mittens and boots for the community's children, men and women in need.
The winter outerwear stays in the community.
The Girl Scouts annual cookie sales begin Jan. 12, 2008.
For information on One Warm Coat or how your child may join Girl Scouts contact Shannon Romberger at (928) 970-4864.