More than twenty-five years ago, a group of young Girl Scouts were joined together as Seniors in Troop 502 in Wichita. Although these girls went to different high schools, were in different grades and were overbooked with academics, school activities, sports, and youth group events, each individual made Girl Scouting a priority. Lisa Stallbaumer, a college student not much older than the girls themselves, became the leader for this energetic group.
The troop developed a connection during their time together at troop meetings, serving on a Senior Planning Board, selling cookies, and working as aides at the local camps. Camping trips meant “competitive spoons”, Trivial Pursuit, songs sung by the campfire, and the consumption of large amounts of gorp (good old raisins and peanuts). This bond extended beyond Girl Scouts as they supported each other’s activities and interests. Watching each other’s softball games, soccer games, swim meets, or debate tournaments– the connection grew stronger. In 1987, an idea was formulated to bury a time capsule to be opened 25 years later coinciding with the 100th year anniversary of Girl Scouts of the United States.
As schedules allowed, they visited each other at college, on vacation and while traveling for work. Although time and distance separated them, their bond has only grown. They have been there for each other for the happy occasions– graduations and weddings–as well as a few bad times.
Fast forward to 2012 when it was difficult to find a time for the unveiling as some members now live out-of-state. However, on Sunday, October 14, five of the eight members were able to attend the opening of the time capsule in person while the others made virtual arrangements, including Skype and conference calls.
To continue the tradition, a Brownie troop plans to bury another capsule as part of the celebration. Items from the past 25 years will be combined with the new to be unearthed in 2037. Burying a new time capsule renews the friendship and passes the true meaning of Girl Scouting to a new generation. To quote one of the songs they used to sing around the campfire, “May the memories that we have shared linger on and on….”
The members of Troop 502: Lisa Stallbaumer Beishline, Cheryl Schmeidler, Melissa Fortney Troub, Sheri Lux Addis, Maureen Flinn Woods, Sara Hosford Perkins, Kathy Shurtz Steele and Ramona Welty Ashraf.