NOW THAT the holidays are over, it's fun to look back at the good times and the giving.
Philomena DeVito, leader of Girl Scout Cadet Troop 1617, says it was a busy season for her troop on both counts.
Recently, the girls spent the night at Savage United Methodist Church.
The event was a sleep-over, with two adult leaders -- DeVito and Toni Vollmerhausen.
The seven girls did all the planning and shopping, DeVito said.
"They're at the age where they require no real help; just an adult around, in case," she said.
Troop members brought favorite family recipes for cookies, ingredients to make them, sleeping bags and an exuberant attitude.
The adults brought cots.
The church hall has a terrific kitchen.
The group sang, baked cookies and exchanged gifts. By morning, the church hall -- where they spent the night -- smelled wonderful. There were cookies galore.
Scout dad Chuck Vollmerhausen stopped by that morning to make pancakes for the girls -- figuring they'd had their fill of cooking -- and then the troop traveled around town distributing cookies to older folks at home.
It was a grand way to start the holiday season.
The Scouts also are working on a clothing drive to supplement the stock at Mary Carroll Thrift Shop.
The shop is next to the Howard County Food Bank in east Columbia, and the money collected from the sale of the clothes gathered by the troop will go to the food bank.
The plan is to canvass the neighborhood Feb. 6 and distribute fliers asking that donations be put out for pickup Feb. 13.
The idea came from two sources: DeVito's Brownie troop (elementary school-age girls) had done something similar, and Dawn Stewart, another Girl Scout leader, happened to learn that the thrift shop was low on stock. (DeVito is leader of two troops, and also helps with the Scout cluster.)
Troop 1617 -- comprised of three seniors and four cadets -- is running the event as its service project this year.
Leaders of the project are cadets Heather Stewart, Jen Mino, Kasie Vollmerhausen, Charlee Conley and Jana Monk and Seniors Angelina DeVito, Erin Vollmerhausen and Jillian Roberts.
Junior Troop 650 is helping.
Winter clothing in all sizes is especially needed. Toys or household items should not be included in bags of clothing.
Be on the lookout for the fliers early next month.
Shall we dance?
Another popular Girl Scout event on the horizon is the annual father-daughter dance.
On Jan. 29, Girl Scouts from the Bollman Bridge-Guilford Scout cluster and their fathers will descend on Patuxent Valley Middle School for the Snow Ball.
The combined troops have about 250 Girl Scouts enrolled, so the event has outgrown its original venue at Bollman Bridge Elementary School.
Jessica Kemper and her Junior Scout Troop 650 are running the event, down to arranging for the decorations and the disc jockey.
This is no small undertaking. About 500 people, including Scouts, dads and others, are expected.
Just calculating the quantities of refreshments is a complicated mathematical exercise.
At the library
Next week is an exciting one at the Savage library. Two family story-times are scheduled.
The first is Monday, with library volunteer Kathy Pongor presenting a sign language story time.
While a staff member reads stories, Pongor will sign them for the audience.
The event is for everyone.
Pongor, who has conducted the signed story times for several years, often teaches a new sign or two.
No registration is required. The half-hour program will begin at 7 p.m.
On Thursday, the regular family story time begins at 7 p.m.
The stories will have winter themes.
While at the library, look at the new display of books that have been made into movies.
Pub Date: 1/08/99