By Kimmie Semiday
On Friday, March 18 and Saturday, March 19, girls from Raub Middle School of the Allentown School District were guests of DeSales University for their yearly Girl Scout sleepover. The troop of nine girls were greeted with pizza and Kona Ice as they arrived Friday night, sleeping bags in hand, to the McShea Student Union.
Each year, DeSales allows both the Boy and Girl Scouts from Raub Middle School to camp out on campus. This serves as a way of actively getting involved with the kids and communities that surround the campus.
Victoria Gaffney, DeSales’ AmeriCorps VISTA, works directly with Raub Middle School in order to create opportunities for the kids to also get involved in their school and participate in educational programs. Gaffney and her volunteers, some who were previously Girl Scouts themselves, came together for the sleepover to give the girls a weekend to remember.
“The sleepover is like a big vacation on all ends – [for both] DeSales and Raub! I strive to come up with a plan that is not only fun, but educational. The girls have so much fun that they hardly realize all of the important life lessons they are learning throughout the weekend,” said Gaffney.
Along with pizza and shaved ice, the girls got to experience the fun that science can offer through a presentation and activity by the Association for Women in Science (AWIS). AWIS members taught the girls about DNA, which was followed by creating models of a double helix bond with the use of candy.
While half of the Raub students immersed themselves in DNA, the other half of the troop worked on making lip balm through natural material, while learning the scientific value of each of the components.
Night one wound to and end with lessons in Girl Scout history, provided by troop leaders Judy Patterson and Theresa Figueroa, an ice cream sundae bar and a viewing of the movie “Inside Out.”
Day two kicked off with an educational Easter egg hunt, craft-making and lunch, before the girls piled into a bus to spend the afternoon enjoying Disney On Ice at the Santander Arena in Reading, Pa.
“This weekend, volunteers from all over campus – such as AWIS, CHEW [Community Healthy Education Works], Student Activities, AmeriCorps and Scouts at DSU – came together to put on one of the best sleepovers to date. The amount of fun we had almost makes up for how tired I was after the girls went home,” said Gaffney.
Although the Girl Scouts are back to school this week, they’ll be returning to DeSales in April for their end of the year barbecue. Anyone interested in participating in the end-of-the-year barbecue can contact Victoria Gaffney at email@example.com.