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Christina Bain, 9, of Girl Scout Troop 1698 shows of some of the pins on her vest to Carroll Lutheran Village residents Dan and Pam Short as her troop pays a visit to the community to roast marshmallows and sing campfire songs Wednesday, Oct. 2, 2019.
Christina Bain, 9, of Girl Scout Troop 1698 shows of some of the pins on her vest to Carroll Lutheran Village residents Dan and Pam Short as her troop pays a visit to the community to roast marshmallows and sing campfire songs Wednesday, Oct. 2, 2019. (Dylan Slagle / Carroll County Times)

Carroll County residents of all ages recently came together around a bonfire, sharing songs, s’mores, conversation and more, when Carroll Lutheran Village invited Girl Scouts to join them to celebrate Active Aging Week.

On Wednesday evening, Oct. 2, Girl Scout leader Kathy Domboski brought her Troop 493 girls — joined by Melissa Bain and her Troop 1698 girls — to Carroll Lutheran Village, gathering around a bonfire to roast marshmallows, make new friends and learn all the things they have in common.

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“Active Aging Week is the first week of October and the Wellness Committee of the Residents’ Association and the wellness staff always put together a week’s worth of programming,” said Laura Sinnott, director of resident life at CLV. “Our Wellness Committee suggested a campfire and singalong several years ago. This is our third year. We added the s’mores, and this year we were lucky enough to have two Girl Scout troops come and be a part of it all.”

From left, Christina Bain, 9, and Miranda Hart, 11, of Girl Scout Troop 1698 roast marshmallows with Carroll Lutheran Village residents Pam and Dan Short as their troop pays a visit to the community to roast marshmallows and sing campfire songs Wednesday, Oct. 2, 2019.
From left, Christina Bain, 9, and Miranda Hart, 11, of Girl Scout Troop 1698 roast marshmallows with Carroll Lutheran Village residents Pam and Dan Short as their troop pays a visit to the community to roast marshmallows and sing campfire songs Wednesday, Oct. 2, 2019. (Dylan Slagle / Carroll County Times)

The CLV community provided the ingredients for s’mores, while the Girl Scouts brought along campfire songbooks so everyone could join them in a singalong.

“Our service unit leader reached out to a few leaders about two weeks before [the singalong] to see if our troops were interested in doing the event,” Domboski said. “My girls love to sing songs so I figured they would be excited to get a chance to sing.”

CLV residents Pam and Dan Short joined other residents around the campfire.

“It was a delight to see the girls in their uniforms singing their campfire and silly songs. It made us remember our own Girl Scout,” said Pam, whose daughter Hilary is a former Girl Scout.

She said the girls helped them make s’mores and she was impressed with how kind and polite they all were.

We talked about all their badges and what did they represent and how did they earn them,” Dan said.

Miranda Hart, 11, of Girl Scout Troop 1698 serves smores to residents of Carroll Lutheran Village as her troop pays a visit to the community to roast marshmallows and sing campfire songs Wednesday, Oct. 2, 2019.
Miranda Hart, 11, of Girl Scout Troop 1698 serves smores to residents of Carroll Lutheran Village as her troop pays a visit to the community to roast marshmallows and sing campfire songs Wednesday, Oct. 2, 2019. (Dylan Slagle / Carroll County Times)

As marshmallows browned over open flames — with a few catching fire to become gooey, blackened gobs of sugary goodness — Pam said she thought about how some activities never lose their appeal.

“[We sang] new songs I have never heard, but they were very funny,” she said. “It was very lovely having the Girl Scouts there.”

Domboski said they’d had little time to plan, but they jumped right in.

“There are also so many versions of the same songs,” Domboski said. “I talked to the other leader and we figured we’d just alternate leading songs.”

Carroll Lutheran Village resident George Painter roasts marshmallows as Girl Scouts from Westminster pay a visit to the community to roast marshmallows and sing campfire songs Wednesday, Oct. 2, 2019.
Carroll Lutheran Village resident George Painter roasts marshmallows as Girl Scouts from Westminster pay a visit to the community to roast marshmallows and sing campfire songs Wednesday, Oct. 2, 2019. (Dylan Slagle / Carroll County Times)

According to Sinnott, the group meshed well on songs the residents suggested, such as “She’ll be Coming Around the Mountain,” and songs from the Girl Scouts, who brought along their song books along to share.

“They have some wonderful songs and we have some former Girl Scouts living here, so it was a good fit,” Sinnott said. “About 30 residents, a half of dozen staff, moms and dads and about 15 Girl Scouts, and their leaders turned out. It was a great intergenerational opportunity. I think our former Girl Scouts enjoyed getting to know the young ladies, seeing the badges and seeing how the program is run now, as well as learning some of the songs.”

According to Sinnott, several former scouts were interested in how scouting has changed over the years.

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“There were two ladies who had been scouts before who were interested in learning how the girls get the badges on their sashes now,” she said. “They are ironed on now. They used to be painfully difficult to sew on.”

Pam Short said conversation and time with the scouts brought back many joyful memories of camping trips with their own girls and of when her husband Dan was a Boy Scout, too. She was happy to see that Brownies and Girl Scouts still wear the same colors and have the same giving spirit to help others.

“It was also exciting to see all the proud mom and dads on the sidelines admiring their children, too,” Dan said.

Domboski said her favorite part of the evening was listening to the residents join in their songs, sing a few of the classics, and laugh at the silly Girl Scout songs and the movements that went along with some.

“I think it is a great experience for the girls to participate in intergenerational gatherings,” she said. “Unfortunately, not everyone has the opportunity to talk to and interact with the older generation through their own life experiences. The interaction between generations helps to create a society that understands other people with different life experiences.”

Pam spoke of what they took away from the evening.

“It’s good to see that we each have something to give that is of value,” she said. “Scouts give time and service, older adults give acceptance, appreciation and gratitude. It was a blessing.”

Sinnott agreed.

“It was a very good chance for three generations to get to know each other a little better,” she said. “Active aging is about engaging with family, friends and community. It is about learning and trying new things. It’s about volunteering and mentoring, and I think this experience brought all of these together.”

She said they will definitely do this again.

“But next time we will order cooler weather,” she said with a laugh. “It was 95 degrees!”

Lois Szymanski covers Finksburg, Gamber, Pleasant Valley, Reese, Sandymount, Silver Run, Smallwood, Union Mills and Westminster. Reach her at 443-293-7811 or LoisSzymanski@hotmail.com.

Carroll Lutheran Village residents roast marshmallows for smores as Girl Scouts from Westminster pay a visit to the community to roast marshmallows and sing campfire songs Wednesday, Oct. 2, 2019.
Carroll Lutheran Village residents roast marshmallows for smores as Girl Scouts from Westminster pay a visit to the community to roast marshmallows and sing campfire songs Wednesday, Oct. 2, 2019. (Dylan Slagle / Carroll County Times)
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