A step beyond supporting our troops: Two Girl Scouts organize Military Family Fun Day

Kaitlyn Huntley and Kayla Glaraton know what it’s like for military families and friends when their loved ones are deployed as Huntley and Glaraton have experienced this before, but what these Girl Scouts are doing for their Silver Award goes one step beyond simply “support our troops.”

The soon-to-be ninth graders, Huntley from Stillwater’s Oak-Land Jr. High and Glaraton from East Ridge High School, have worked together over the summer to throw together a celebration of sorts for military families on Sept. 9 at Colby Lake Park in Woodbury.

“I know personally how hard it is to deal with a deployment and I want to give support and help people have fun and just enjoy the time with other families,” said Glaraton, who’s father recently returned from Afghanistan.

The teens from Girl Scout Troop No. 51359, have spent the summer working hard planning their Silver Award project: Military Family Fun Day.

The Girl Scouts Silver Award is similar to the Eagle Scout project in Boy Scouts. Participants have to log 50 hours of service, work and energy to create an event that helps the community and creates an effect on the community that will last.

“We’ve put a ton of effort in to get it going,” Huntley said.

The teens have been forced out of their comfort zones throughout the summer by getting business donations, talking to people they didn’t know and managing the financial part of the project.

The event features snacks, crafts, games and activities, kickball tournaments and other activities that ensure the event is fun for all ages. Family members and neighbors of the girls are volunteering to make the event a success. Prizes will go to winners of the various events and goodie bags will be given out at the end of the event.

The girls’ goal for the event is to create a relaxing environment that fosters friendships among the military families that attend.

“I really hope that the kids will make friends and parents will get time to relax and talk with other people,” Huntley said. “We’ll give out notepads and notebooks so they can keep in contact with each other after the event. We’re hoping for lots of friendships and a good time.”

Glaraton is excited about the opportunity to meet other teens and kids who have been through what she did while her father was deployed.

“I’m looking forward to playing with other kids that come and talking with them,” Glaraton said.

The event is free and open to military families. It takes place from 1 to 4 p.m. Sept. 9 in the Colby Lake Park Building.

Huntley asks those that are interested in coming to the event to RSVP to her home phone: 651-735-8508 or at militaryfamilyfun@gmail.com. She’ll need the names and ages of the family members attending for number counts as well as prizes and game information.

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