Thornton Girl Scouts adopt Grand County Sheriff’s Office
Last week, the deputies of the Grand County Sheriff’s Office received a donation of cookies from a group of Girl Scouts hailing from the Front Range.
The young ladies were participating in a program the Girl Scouts call “Hometown Heroes.” Each year Girl Scout troops throughout the United States adopt non-profits, volunteer organizations and groups of first responders for the formal “Hometown Heroes” program. Troop leader Carol Lucero explained some of the details.
“Every year during cookie season the girls pick their own hometown heroes to send cookies to,” Lucero said. “Many send cookies to troops overseas, or to the Ronald McDonald House.”
As the Girls post up in front of grocery stores and other locations during cookie selling season, they often ask purchasers if they would like to donate their change to the program, or perhaps buy a box of cookies specifically for one of the adopted entities.
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In the spring each year, after cookie season has ended, the girls take the cookies they have for donation and give them to whichever entity they have adopted on a special day they call “Cookie Day.” In 2015 the girls of the Thornton Girl Scouts Cadet troop decided to adopt the Grand County Sheriff’s Office.
The Thornton Troop is currently made up of a total of four girls including three eighth-graders and one sixth-grader. The girls have been together in Girl Scouts since they were kindergartners, when the troop originally had 27 members, but over time attrition has whittled the group down to a dedicated cadre of four young ladies.
The girls’ idea to adopt the Grand County Sheriff’s Office happened by chance. Along with her work with the Girl Scouts, Lucero also volunteers her time to help with honor guard services in the State of Colorado when law enforcement officers die unexpectedly or in the line of duty. In early 2015, Lucero was in Grand County helping out with the honor guard for Grand County Sheriff’s Deputy Alycia Riggs, who died tragically in an off-duty traffic accident in early 2015.
After Lucero told the girls about the nature of her time in Grand County the young ladies decided to adopt the Grand County Sheriff’s Office for their annual Cookie Day drive. For the past three-years the girls have made the trek to the high country each spring to give the deputies of Middle Park a little sign of their appreciation in the form of Thin Mints and Tagalongs.
For the past two years the girls have driven up to Hot Sulphur Springs for a day trip to drop off the cookies, hang out with the deputies, and have a little bit of carefree fun. Lucero said the annual trip has become something of a tradition for both parties with one of the young girls challenging a particular Grand County deputy to a pushup contest each year. “It is cute to see her battling it out with him,” said Lucero. Normally the Cookie Day trip is scheduled to coincide with the girls’ annual Spring Break from school.
This year was a year of firsts for the girls though. Instead of simply driving up to Grand County and heading back to Thornton on the same day the troop decided to spend some of the money they raised from selling cookies this winter enjoying a weekend at Snow Mountain Ranch. Several deputies headed out to the YMCA property to welcome the troop and enjoyed some S’mores with the young ladies.
This was also the first year the girls decided to split up some of their cookie donations. Along with donations to the Sheriff’s Office the girls also donated cookies to the Rocky Mountain National Park volunteer organization the Road Hogs, who volunteer at the Park on Mondays year round. Lucero said she expects the troop to continue to adopt the Grand County Sheriff’s Office for at least one more year but because several of the girls are about to transition into the senior scout level and begin working towards achieving a Gold Award, the Girl Scout equivalent of an Eagle Scout Award, later this fall she was uncertain as to what future years might hold for the young ladies.
Either way, the deputies of the Grand County Sheriff’s Office won’t soon forget the simple, yet meaningful gift, the young ladies of Thornton thought to bestow upon them.
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