Bishop Presents Award for Scouting

By Audrey Stanton-Smith

Some of the girls made Little Free Libraries, Blessing Boxes, and collection bins for retired American flags. Others wrapped gifts for the less fortunate, facilitated recycling programs, and collected items for a local animal shelter. Another created a puppet studio for a local preschool, and one even made cigarette butt disposal stations along with a presentation about the litter’s impact on wildlife.

The Girl Scouts of Troop 37400, sponsored by Emmanuel United Methodist Church in White Sulphur Springs, gathered Saturday, Nov. 14, to celebrate those gifts to their community and to receive the 2020 Bishop’s Award for Scouting.

“There are so many in our community, younger all the way to our older-aged persons, that really need to know that someone somewhere really does care about them,” Bishop Sandra Steiner Ball told the troop in the Zoom meeting in which she presented the award. “So, thank you for caring. Thank you for sharing your love and your resources with the people in your community.”

Each year the Girl Scout’s Black Diamond Council determines if there is a Boy or Girl Scout troop that is deserving of the prestigious Bishop’s Award. This year, the Council determined that Troop 37400 was deserving of this award and nominated it for Bishop Steiner Ball’s consideration. After reviewing all the criteria for this nomination, Bishop Steiner Ball selected the troop to be this year’s recipient.

Representatives of the Girl Scout Black Diamond Council also participated in the presentation of the award, along with Pastor Ed Craft, Greenbrier District Superintendent Melissa Shortridge, and Assistant to Bishop Sandra Steiner Ball, Ken Krimmel.

“It’s a lifetime training,” Shortridge told the girls after pointing out that she, too, was once a proud Girl Scout. “And not only that, but it’s the lives that you touch and the difference you make in your local community through your service projects and your work.”

Steiner Ball, who also once proudly wore the Girl Scouts sash, thanked the troop for going “above and beyond” in its commitment to service and community. “You really have made the world in your area just a much better place,” she said before showing the troop its certificate of award and one of the new patches bearing the bishop’s symbol that would be mailed to them.

“It’s just so wonderful to look back at the patches,” Steiner Ball said of her own Girl Scout memories, “to look back at the awards and the badges and remember how much I learned and how grateful I was for my leader, for my friends in scouting, and also for the other adults who helped out.”

She called on the girls to continue in their own leadership development and spiritual growth, as well as in the mission and ministry of Girl Scouts, which Krimmel called a “vital ministry for youth in partnership with United Methodist Churches of the West Virginia Conference.”

In her closing prayer, the bishop asked God to “keep this troop safe and energetic and inspired, and that Your spirit might work among them so that they shine your light, your hope, and your love to every member of the community that they serve.”

It’s Girl Scout Cookie time! Be sure to reach out to your local troop to support their fundraising efforts, as you can see your purchase can make a big difference!

To learn more about Scouting Ministries in the United Methodist Church, visit this website with information for local churches about Girl and Boy Scouting and more! Provided by the General Commission of United Methodist Men.

Scout Sunday is coming soon! Follow this link for resources so that you may celebrate with your local scout troops.

Watch as Bishop Sandra Steiner Ball presents Girl Scout Troop 37400 with the Girl Scout Troop of the Year Award!