Logan County Girl Scouts seek donations

Alex Gladden
Fort Smith Times Record

A Logan County group is accepting donations to renovate the building that the Girl Scouts use.

The Logan County Leadership Group decided to update the Pinewood Girl Scout Hut as part of its philanthropy work.

The Paris Girl Scouts are seeking donations to renovate their building.

“It was in such need of repairs," said Tonya Fletcher, who leads the organization and serves as the executive director for the Paris Area Chamber of Commerce.

As part of the project, members plan to replace the flooring, paint the walls, put in new ceiling tiles, add a hot water heater and add new counter space.

The fundraising is still in its beginning stages. The members are actively seeking donations. They have raised $700 and hope to raise $2,000 for the scouts.

People can send their donations to the Paris Area Chamber of Commerce, located at 301 W. Walnut St., Paris, AR 72855.

Paris Girl Scouts meet via Zoom.

Les Mitchell is part of the organization and is responsible for gathering the supplies and materials to make the updates to the building.

Because of COVID-19, Mitchell said the group has not made as much progress as he would have liked.

“It’s kind of behind where we’re hoping to be," Mitchell said.

Members of the Logan County Leadership Group are accepting donations to renovate the Pinewood Girl Scout Hut, where the Girl Scouts meet.

Mitchell is working to get donations in materials from vendors and recruit members of the public to volunteer to help make the updates.

He said the project is important because the girls need a place to meet.

Paris Girl Scouts march in parade.

“Well we like a clean and safe place for the Girl Scouts to meet," Mitchell said.

Girl Scout Chloe Cope said that renovating the Hut would allow the troops to store materials in the building, instead of their leaders having to bring it in their cars. 

The Hut was built in the late 1970s to early 1980s. It was originally built as a place for Girl Scouts to meet, said Karalea Wells, who is a co-leader of the Paris Girl Scouts.

The building is now owned by the city, and the city put a new roof on the building and did some minor plumbing fixes.

Before the Girl Scouts were able to move into the Hut, they had to use the Boy Scout's Hut or meet in people's houses.

“Prior to us having done anything to this place, we had nowhere to meet,' Wells said.

Having the building renovated would mean that the members would have a place to store their cookies that they sell. The Paris scouts sell thousands of boxes of cookies. Now the building can't store food because there are some holes where animals could get into the building.

It would also mean that the Paris scouts' service unit, made up of several local troops, would have a place to meet. Wells said she has not opened the building up to the unit because the building is still in the beginning stages of renovation.

Despite its problems, Wells said her girls are thankful to have the building.

“We’re just glad to have it," Wells said.

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The scouts have been back in the building for about a year. The Girl Scouts have gone through phases where they were not as active in Paris, Wells said.

But for the last three years, the scouts have started meeting as a group again. Now the scouts have three troops and about 40 members.

Cope said she likes being in the Girl Scouts partly because she gets to be involved in town events, such as parades and the fall festival.

“It’s really cool because you get to go to a lot of town events and be in them," Cope said. 

She also likes getting to work with other girls and take part in scout activities. 

“I like theearning badges and working together and stuff," Cope said. 

The girls range in age from kindergarten to ninth grade, but the program is available to girls all the way up to the 12th grade.

“We’ve made comeback," Wells said.