Troop 6000 is bringing girl scouting to migrant children living in NYC

Sonia Rincón Image
Friday, January 5, 2024
Troop 6000 is bringing girl scouting to migrant children living in NYC
Sonia Rincon has more on the girl scout troop.

NEW YORK (WABC) -- Members of the newest chapter of Troop 6000, which serves families living in temporary housing and shelters, are learning what it means to be a girl scout.

This one happens to be just for migrant families brand new to the city.

Launched in 2017, Girl Scouts of Greater New York's Troop 6000 is a first-of-its-kind program designed to serve families living in temporary housing in the New York City shelter system.

Given the influx of migrants in NYC, the program aims to bring some ease to families seeking asylum and peace of mind to the children.

"We noticed that there was a huge influx coming in at most of our sites already and we were trying to figure out how we could adapt," said Founder and Program Director of Troop 6000 Giselle Burgess.

This meant expanding for the girls staying at the Row NYC hotel, which has been sheltering migrant and asylum-seeking families for the last year.

11-year-old Jocelyn told Eyewitness News she's learning so much, making friends and going on field trips.

The same excitement was expressed by 12-year-old Laura, who said she's learned about the girl scout values, and, as she put it, "how to be a better woman when I grow up."

"There is so much in that core doctrine of girl scouting that becomes habitual," said CEO of Girl Scouts of Greater NY Meridith Maskara. "And it unites them with millions of other girls around the world learning the same principles."

"Everybody here has a ticket now into that community," said Dr. Ted Long of New York City Health + Hospitals. "So, as they deal with the trauma they've experienced, as they deal with their own mental health issues, they aren't alone. They're with 58 million other people supporting them and pushing them forward."

As New York City's girl scout community embraces them, they're learning about their new surroundings, like how to navigate the subway.

"What are the lines? Where do they take you? They made up their own train lines, they designed their own trains as architects," said Burgess.

Of course, this home is temporary. But that's something Troop 6000 and girl scout programs across the world understand.

They make it easy for families to stay connected with transition programs wherever they end up. This program can use more bilingual educators and volunteers, but they will be selling cookies in the spring and that's another great way to support them.

Head here for information about Troop 6000 and how to support.


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