During the penultimate weekend of cookie sales, members of the local Anamosa Girl Scout Troop 7749 were out at the Lawrence Community Center gazebo to offer photos with the Easter Bunny selling their cookies.

The last year has been tough, juggling state and Girl Scout Council mandates. The troop has been able to meet in person, with health measures like masks, social distancing, not sharing supplies and constant sanitizing surfaces and hands, since late summer.

The troop has been able to modify some events like caroling at the assisted living centers. Due to COVID, they couldn’t go caroling in person. So, the girls gathered in small groups, spaced apart with masks on in a driveway and sang while being recorded. Later, the recordings were put on a thumb drive and delivered along with holiday ornaments to the care centers. The scouts have also delivered ornaments for Valentine’s Day.

Largely sidelined, the troop has focused on their fundraising for when they can travel again, through t-shirt fundraisers, cookie sales, the Easter Bunny photo event and an upcoming Egg My Yard event, where scouts will hide eggs in yards for people the night before Easter.

The cookie sales, cut short due to the pandemic breaking out last year, has been able to go on as planned this year in a modified fashion, masked up and with fewer door to door sales.

Some events did have to be canceled due to COVID-19, however.

On the accolade front, it’s been a good year for the group of sophomores, Ruby Robertson, Ally-Anna Wheeler, Summer Winekauf and Anna Lindsay. Both Robertson and Wheeler are part of the council’s Girl Advisory Board, a new position. Wheeler is a national delegate and participated in the convention virtually, while Robertson and Winekauf participated in the convention’s global round table. The convention was supposed to be held at Disney World.

Wheeler was also elected to be a girl representative of the Board of Directors for Girl Scouts of Eastern Iowa Western Illinois, which Troop Leader Amy Wheeler suspected was a first for the county, which has eight troops by itself.

Other accomplishments over the past year included projects that earned both Robertson and Wheeler their silver awards, with Robertson updating the games for the Spook Carnival and Wheeler making walker bags and creating directions and a video for the Jones Regional Medical Center.

Wheeler said she’d been sewing since she was little but said the project was by far the most she’d done in a period of time when compared to her smaller efforts.

“That was a lot of sewing,” Wheeler said of her project. “I’m done with sewing for a while because 60-some hours of sewing is a lot. “

The rest of the troop has had their focus on fundraisers. The troop is currently fundraising in the hopes that they can all go on the trip to New Zealand/Australia next year. Our goal is to raise $20,000 to pay for this trip. The photos taken Saturday were part of that effort as well as the Egg My Yard. A few more fundraisers are planned for the future, including flowers for May Day to be given to local seniors.

In the shorter term, Troop Leader Wheeler said that after “an isolated summer,” the group is looking forward to traveling again to West Virginia for Girl Fest.

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