or 1-800-392-4340, ext. 1236
Girl Scouts Celebrate Seniors through the Adopt A Nursing Home Program
Although August 21 is National Senior Citizens Day, Girl Scouts celebrate their senior friends all year long through the Adopt A Nursing Home Program. Developed by the Girl Scouts of San Jacinto Council (GSSJC) and the Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services (DADS) in 2002, the Adopt a Nursing Home patch program matches up interested Girl Scouts and troops with a local nursing home. Girls plan sing-a-longs and service projects, parties and plays for their senior friends.
It is estimated that up to 60 percent of Texas nursing home residents do not have regular visitors. San Jacinto Girl Scouts are doing their best to make a dent in this statistic. Since 2002, more than 1,800 of the Adopt a Nursing Home participation patches have been sold. There are second and third year rockers, or patch additions, for troops who continue to participate after the first year. More than 250 of the second year rocker and more than 40 of the third year rocker have been sold.
In 2007, GSSJC and other Texas Girl Scout councils partnered with Southwest Airlines and the Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services (DADS) Adopt A Nursing Home Program to host an essay contest where Girl Scouts captured the wonderful stories of the residents of long-term facilities. Girl Scouts who were currently registered with the DADS program and serving a nursing home facility were eligible to enter.
Woodlands resident Katherine R. of Troop #11061 was one of the state winners on the Junior level. Katherine wrote the following:
My Brownie Girl Scout Troop adopted Silverado Senior Living Center in The Woodlands, Texas. Silverado is a place for elderly people with Alzheimer’s disease. I liked talking to the different residents. It was interesting to see how the residents perked up when my excited troop of 9-year-old girls showed up to do an activity with them. First, we had a meeting with the director and she explained how the residents would repeat questions, enjoy hugging us a lot, and how the residents need more and more help as the disease takes over in their bodies.
At Christmas time, our troop made all kinds of cookies to take to the residents. We all sang Christmas carols and jingled bells down the hallways when we first arrived. They all really enjoyed that! Then, the girls who knew how to play piano played, and everyone sang along if they knew the words. Many of the visitors even joined along!
On our third visit, we used our cookie sale profits to buy flowers to plant with the residents. Some of the residents helped plant the flowers outside and some weren’t up to it, so they just helped water or watched. My favorite memory was getting to know my friend D. while we were planting flowers. D. knew a lot about planting gardens and she shared a lot of information about gardening. She told me stories about the lovely gardens at her home!
Girl Scouts of the USA is the world's preeminent organization for girls, with a membership of more than 3.5 million girls and adults. Today, as when founded in 1912, GSUSA helps cultivate values, social conscience, and self-esteem in young girls, while also teaching them critical life skills that will enable them to succeed as adults. Girl Scouting builds girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place.
Chartered by GSUSA to provide Girl Scouting locally, Girl Scouts of San Jacinto Council is one of the largest Girl Scout councils in the country serving over 63,000 girl members and 18,000 adults in 25 southeast Texas counties. For more information call 1-800-392-4340 or visit www.gssjc.org.
GSSJC Pluralism Statement
Embracing and promoting pluralism is an integral part of every activity and plan of Girl Scouts of San Jacinto Council, not disconnected or separate projects. Only individuals willing to accept and be educated about the basic tenet that Girl Scouting is for all girls may serve in volunteer leadership or staff positions.
GSSJC | Communications Department
3110 Southwest Freeway Houston, TX 77098