They have played together and worked together, competed together and served others together. Now they are moving on to high school together.
A group of girls — friends since they first joined a Daisy Girl Scout troop in kindergarten — is being celebrated by friends and family as they finish their last year of middle school.
The eighth graders make up what is now Cadette Troop 2923 at . Seven of the eight have been in the troop since starting out in kindergarten back at .
“This is an amazing group of girls,” said Tracy Bauer, mother of Anna Bauer, one of the original seven. “They each maintained a 3.5 GPA or higher throughout middle school while participating in sports, school plays, Girl Scouts, DI (Destination Imagination) and maintaining solid friendships.”
Troop leader Kathy McDonough said the troop was capping off the girls' eighth grade year with a trip to Branson this summer.
“Even though these girls have diverse personalities, interests and talents — music, athletics, theater, art — the one thing they have in common is that they are just good girls,” McDonough said. “They are fun-loving, social, active, responsible at school and home, respectful to adults and each other, polite, considerate and thoughtful. They are just a joy to be around.”
As Girl Scouts, the teens have gone camping, horseback riding, ice skating and rock climbing. They have visited with senior citizens at a nursing home, shopped for Christmas presents for children with cancer, sold Girl Scout cookies and participated in April Showers, the Girl Scouts’ annual collection of personal care items for the needy.
McDonough said the troop had more than twice as many girls in grade school, but the number dropped off once the girls hit sixth grade. That’s when they became busier with outside activities and it was no longer considered “cool” to be in scouts.
"But this group doesn’t care," she said. "They have had so much fun participating in many different activities and trying new things they would not have been able to do."
McDonough said the girls ran the troop with little direction from the leaders.
“This has been a girl-driven troop,” she said. “They chose the direction and feel of the troop and have picked all of the activities.”
Bauer’s daughter, Anna, 13, said she couldn’t explain what kept the girls together through the years. “We’ve just maintained a bond,” she said. "We're all good friends outside of Girl Scouts."
Anna said all eight girls would be heading to in the fall; she is hoping to continue in scouts, even though she expects to be busier than ever. "I think we'll find time," she said.
In addition to scouts, the girls have participated together on soccer and swim teams and a Destination Imagination (DI) team. They have participated in music and acted in and built sets for their school plays, all while keeping up their grades.
All eight earned the “Gold N” award at North Kirkwood Middle School this month for maintaining a 3.5 or higher grade point average.
“They are all great students,” McDonough said. “We were quite proud of them.”
Members of the troop area: