Girl Scouts gear up for Community Night Out

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It’s hard to believe that July is essentially over and that August is upon us already, but one of the best events of the summer in Groton for the past four years will be happening from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 6 at the Groton Memorial Park on Sykes Street, as the annual “Groton Community Night Out” commemorates its fifth anniversary.

Hosted by the Groton Girl Scouts, this “free to the public” event is made possible by a grant from the Tompkins County Tourism program with support from the Village of Groton, local individuals, businesses and community groups and a great deal of planning on the part of GS Troop #41432, with help from Brownie Troop #40011 and Cadette Troop #40257, GS leaders Jen Dean and Jacalyn Niño, and Brownie leaders Angela Conger and Jamie Seamans.

The Groton Community Night was started in 2015 by the Groton Girl Scouts and their leaders, Jen Dean, Angela Conger and then-troop leader Christine Personius, inspired by National Night Out (NNO), which was established in 1984.

NNO is “an annual community-building campaign that promotes police-community partnerships and neighborhood camaraderie to make our neighborhoods safer, better places to live,” according to Round Rock Texas.

Conger, Personius and Dean knew Groton was a great community to reside in and we hosted the Groton Community Night to showcase it, Dean said.

“With less than two weeks of planning, we successfully hosted an event that brought over 100 community members together,” Dean said. “The event has since grown to include an attendance of 400-500. To celebrate our fifth year, we are going back to basics with a large assortment of crafts, games and fun activities offered by the Groton Girl Scouts and additional community groups.”

The Groton Girl Scouts have made it their tradition to meet every July at the annual “Vietnam Veterans Memorial Highway of Valor Tribute Ride” for their main planning session for the “Night Out.”

They begin their day greeting the 200-plus motorcycle riders who make Groton their first stop on the ride. After that, they find a place to gather while they firm up their final plans for the Community Night and finish off with ice cream at The Caboose.

Up until that point, the adults involved have had a considerable amount of input and planning behind the scenes, but it is the Scouts who use this special meeting to add any additional ideas to the mix and put their final “stamp of approval” on the event.

They will be offering dinner and snacks for the entire Groton community, which will include pizza, hot dogs, pasta salad, chips, watermelon and water. In addition, there will be craft projects for kids, face painting, lawn games, giant bubbles, balloon artists, gaga ball and door prizes.

The Groton Fire Department will be on hand with fire trucks and hoses, Groton Cub Scout Pack #10 and its leader, Shana Snyder, will be offering a campfire with s’mores, and Groton favorite, DJ Kelly, will be playing his tunes for everyone’s enjoyment.

The Groton Girl Scouts, the Girl Scouts of NYPENN Pathways, several local police departments, the Family Reading Partnership, Groton Boy Scout Troop #77, Searls Racing, Memory Lanes, Ithaca Family Chiropractic and Groton Recreation are also confirmed to participate with free offerings and activities, but the list is growing daily. The website at grotoncommunitynight.com is the best place for updates.

In addition to the scout leaders, the Girl Scouts who have planned this fabulous evening for their community, Samantha Clark, Chloe Conger, Sarah Dean, Emma DeMatteo, Alyssa Fennimore, Zoe Morusty, Dianna Niño, Madelyn Redfield, Martina Seamans and Emily Slater, thank everyone in the community for their support.

I asked some of these girls to share their thoughts on what they are most excited about:

“I’m looking forward to the food,” Clark said.

“It’s great food, and you need that in life,” Dean said.

“It’s a time for our whole community to come together,” Niño said. “I’m excited for the community to have fun and not worry about anything.”

“This event is about everybody relaxing and coming together,” Conger said. “It’s a lot of unity and fun, and it’s nice that we can put something like this on for our community.”

Any community organization in and around the Tompkins County area is welcome to participate, and anyone interested in making a small donation or volunteering for the night may reach out to Jen Dean at footejennifer@hotmail.com or (607) 216-5250.

From now until Aug. 2, JK’s Can & Bottle Return, 122 Spring St., is collecting bottle and can donations to contribute to the event. Just drop off your bottles and cans and state that they are for the Groton Community Night.

Groton on the Inside appears weekly. Submit news ideas to Linda Competillo, lmc10@cornell.edu or 607-227-4922.

In Brief:

Groton FFA hosts NYS Commissioner of Agriculture

To celebrate the return of Groton FFA (Future Farmers of America), the Groton FFA Advisory Board, led by Dan Carey, will be hosting an event to celebrate its newly reformed FFA chapter at Groton Central School Friday, Aug. 2 in the STEAM Learning Center, 400 Peru Rd.

New York State Commissioner of Agriculture Richard Ball will attend to present Groton with its charter. The festivities will begin with a chicken barbeque lunch at 12:30 p.m., followed by a brief presentation ceremony at 1:30 p.m.

The cost of the meal is $8 per person, and includes chicken, salt potatoes, baked beans and dessert. For reservations, contact Abbie Teeter at ajt248@cornell.edu.

All-alumni picnic

The Groton Central School Alumni Association’s 23rd annual all-alumni reunion picnic will take place from 2 to 6 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 3 at the Groton Rod and Gun Club on Elm Street. Cost is $27, and reservations are strongly encouraged.

Cornell recipe chicken barbeque, Hoffman hot dogs, salt potatoes, pasta salad, baked beans, cookies, soda, beer and bottled water are on the menu. For reservations or more information, contact Jane Rutledge at (607) 898-3983 or Betty Conger at (607) 898-3990.

Groton Cub Scouts named “Pack of the Year”

Groton Cub Scout Pack #10, sponsored by Carrington-Fuller Post 800 of the American Legion, was honored at the Department of New York American Legion convention in Buffalo, NY as the “Pack of the Year.” The actual presentation of the award will be made at the 6th District meeting in Richfield Springs, New York on Aug. 11.
Previously, the pack won the “Outstanding Cub Scout Pack Award” at the American Legion’s 6th District convention, competing against packs from the 10 counties of the 6th District.

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