photo: Sam Hodgson/ New York Times
Girl Scout Troop 6000 from Queens, New York is full of energetic young girls excited to make friends and learn new values, just like any other troop in America. There is one big difference however: every girl in this troop is homeless.
As the New York Times reports, the girls of Troop 6000 — currently 21 members and a blended troop of all age levels — all reside at the Sleep Inn, where the city utilizes 100 rooms as housing for homeless families. Although this troop is not the first in the country, troops for homeless girls are rare. The troop came together thanks to one mom, Giselle Burgess, who lives at the Sleep Inn with her five children. She was nervous at first, starting the troop with just eight girls, almost half of which were her own three daughters. The troop has quickly grown, however, and blossomed into a shining beacon for the girls.
The troop meetings and field trips give the girls something to look forward to and a chance to socialize and build friendships outside of school, which can be tough living in a shelter where restrictions on visitors and minimal space make it hard to plan play dates and activities. The city commissioner of social services is already looking into starting troops at other shelters across the city.
Do you have daughters who participate in Girl Scouts? Share your own experiences in the comments.