Girl Scouts strive to stamp out smoking


For Girl Scouts in Wantagh Troop 3432, earning a new patch was both educational and fun. With direction from their leaders, Sandi Vega and Julie Brite, the middle school students completed their journey projects and presented them at the Wantagh Public Library last month.

“It’s really wonderful seeing these girls grow from kindergarten until now,” Vega said. “They earned their Bronze Awards with us and this is now the second award out of three. Sometimes I really sacrifice other things at home to try and get this group together and incorporate things they will like.” 

Before the troop can work towards their Silver Award, they had to complete a journey project that would be both instructive and informative. After picking one journey out of three, they came together and collaborated different ideas for their projects.

“They are at the Cadette level, so they decided to choose the ‘breathe journey,’” Brite said. “It’s about an awareness of the environment and if there is a problem, how to find a solution. By doing their research, they realized that smoking could be bad for the air and through their projects they have completed the ‘Triple A’ — being aware, alert and affirmative.”

After learning about the harmful affects of smoking and the way that people could pollute the atmosphere, the scouts decided to create comic strips on poster boards that would portray different scenarios. After presenting their projects at the library, Brite and Vega recapped the journey and handed out their patches, which will be pinned to the front of their vests. The projects also helped the girls earn a “Comic Artist” award, a “fun” patch that will be pinned to the back of their vests. 

“I’ve learned not to smoke because it’s not good for you and can give you cancer,” Girl Scout Victoria Rodriguez said. “The most important thing is that you could lose your loved ones, because there is always a risk.”

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