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iBerkshires.com Columnist Section

Sue Bush
More articles from Sue Bush

Countdown To Thanksgiving

By Susan Bush
12:00AM / Saturday, November 18, 2006

Thalia Crespo and Nina Keleher designed "cheer-up" cards during a Nov. 17 Girl Scout Troop 36 meeting.
Welcome to iberkshires.com Countdown To Thanksgiving, a daily feature launched Nov. 13. Each day until and including Thanksgiving Day [Nov. 23], iberkshires will highlight a Berkshire/Southern Vermont region individual and a specific review of the things that generate thanks. At the end of each interview will be a "family-style" Thanksgiving dinner recipe. Here's to the holiday that is very much America's own!

North Adams - The members of Girl Scout Troop 36 are thankful for many things, including their scouting involvement.

The troop consists of 10 girls who are Brownies, Junior, and Cadette Girl Scouts. Dawn Karo founded Troop 36 during 2004 and the group meets weekly at a Greylock housing complex community space on Angeli Street.


Donna Belliveau, Nina Keleher, and Kaitlynn Karo worked on an crafts project after they completed "cheer-up" cards destined for a Greylock complex resident.
During a Nov. 17 meeting, troop members crafted "cheer-up" cards for a neighborhood woman who is unable to easily travel from her home.
Troop members discussed thankful feelings as they designed the cards and crafted "turkey pins" from felt and pom-poms.

Pets And Family Top Thanks Lists

A pet rabbit generated thanks from 9-year-old Kristin Schneider.

"My bunny Princess is tan and we let her run around our house during the day and she's really friendly," Kristin said.

Donna Belliveau, 11, is thankful for "my mom and my sister's puppy, 'Rocky,'" while Kaitlynn Karo is thankful for "my little sister, Mackenzie."

Cursty Morris, 10, said she is thankful for her mom and her friend Erin Cook, who is also a Troop 36 member.

Erin's sister Alyssa Cook is also a troop member. Alyssa said she is thankful for "Brownies, field trips, and Dawn and Colette [Colette Klein, who assists Karo with the troop]."

Erin is thankful for "my family and my little brother Tommy."

"He's five," she said."I think he's cute, although sometimes he can be, you know, he's a boy."

Jody Gyurasz read as part of a "Ready Reader" patch requirement.


Jody Gyurasz, 11, said she is thankful for her family, as did 9-year-old Thalia Crespo.

"I have a sister Liz," said Thalia. "She's OK sometimes."

"Girl Power Rocks" Fundraiser Dec. 9

All troop members said that they enjoy being Girl Scouts. Field trips are part of the scouting experience and the trips often require per-person registration fees.

Troop 36 has scheduled a "Girl Power Rocks" 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. tag-and-bake sale for Dec. 9 at the Angeli Street community center/police substation in the hope of raising $2,000. Among those who will provide baked goods is Erin Cook.

"Erin usually bakes something when we do special events," said Karo. "And the night before the sale, our whole troop will probably do some baking."

Funds raised will cover costs of field trips such as a March 9 "camp-in" at the Science Center of Connecticut, an April 19 Whale Watch and trip to the Boston Aquarium, a June 2 trip to the Great Escape, and a "camp-in" at Plimouth Plantation.


Alyssa Cook designed a card as part of a Troop 36 community service project.
"I really like the field trips," said Alyssa. "We get to go to different places and learn a lot of things."

Karo launched the troop after her daughter Kaitlynn tried twice to join existing troops but was told that the troop memberships were at capacity. Other Greylock complex girls expressed interest in scouting but faced financial and transportation challenges.

Karo decided to start a troop at the complex and raised start-up costs via a "change drive." She completed basic first aid and cardiopulmonary resuscitation training as required by the Girl Scout organization so that she could serve as a volunteer troop leader.

During a 2005 iberkshires interview, Karo pledged to introduce Junior and Cadette level scouting opportunities if the troop members had an interest; they did, and Karo kept her promise.

Cursty Morris crafted a turkey pin during a Troop 36 group arts activity.


The troop is very active; the members participate during the traditional Girl Scout Cookie sales months and perform community service projects.

Anyone interested in donating an item to the tag sale may contact Karo at 413-663-5163.

Broccoli-Cottage Cheese Cornbread

4 eggs
1 10-ounce package chopped frozen broccoli, thawed and drained
1 cup cottage cheese
1 onion, chopped
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 8.5 ounce package self-rising cornmeal
1 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a 11 x 7 inch baking pan.

Combine cornmeal and salt in a large mixing bowl and in a separate bowl, mix eggs, cottage cheese, onion, and butter. Stir egg and cheese mixture into cornmeal mixture. Fold in broccoli. Pour batter into the pan.

Bake for about 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the bread center comes out clean.
Makes about 12 servings

Susan Bush may be reached via e-mail at suebush@iberkshires.com
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