New direction and focus for troop 440



Florida A&M’s Campus Girl Scouts strive to leave a footprint of service in the Tallahassee community.

Although fairly new, several FAMU students have started Girl Scout Troop 440 at the Smith-Williams Center.

Campus Girl Scouts designed Troop 440 to mentor girls in kindergarten through 12th grade to develop their self-esteem, leadership and social skills. Brittany Lemon, president and founder of Campus Girls Scouts, held the first interest meeting in Oct. 2009.

“It was a process and there were struggles, but I did it. I wanted to recruit girls who had a serious passion for the community,” Lemon said.

In Lemon’s sophomore year as she walked across set Fridays, she observed a Campus Girl Scouts’ tent.  It captured her attention and she immediately became interested. 

She understood the impact that girl scouts had on her life. She had one problem. It was a Florida State University organization. After talking to the Campus Girl Scouts president, she started the organization at FAMU.

In its first year, Campus Girl Scouts at FAMU participated in different community service programs from cleaning the campus to projects for Katrina, in which they donated clothes and non-perishable items to children in New Orleans.

After a successful first semester, Campus Girl Scouts sought to help a local Girl Scout troop.

“We really wanted to mentor young girls and sell cookies,” said Ciara Johnson, 19, a second-year biology pre-med student from Tampa and FAMU Campus Girl Scout. 

The Campus Girl Scouts found the Smith-Williams Center in the FAMU community, which was in need of a troop. 

“We all, the faculty and staff, found a need for a Girl Scout troop. It will give them exposure to things they wouldn’t be normally be exposed to,” Wanda Daniels, senior enrichment coordinator at the Smith-Williams Center, said.

 The scouts held their first meeting this summer.

Troop 440 consists of 22 daisies, brownies and juniors. Their first official event was a weekend fishing and camping trip.

“It was great for most of us,” Johnson said. “It was our first time fishing and our first time interacting with the girls, so we were a bit nervous. But, by the end of the trip, we all felt like one big family.”

The troop will participate in the FAMU homecoming Parade during homecoming week. 

Lemon plans on meeting with the girls every other week and doing different activities, such as selling cookies, etiquette training and learning the pledge and the oath.

 Lemon plans to graduate in this semester and hopes that Campus Girl Scouts and Troop 440 will continue.

“I just hope it’s still here in the next twenty years,” Lemon said. 

“It’s my baby. I want it to grow, it’s important for the girls in this community to have an organization like Campus Girl Scouts to inspire and motivate them.”