Central Florida Girl Scouts help kids prepare with hurricane kits

Kits designed to aid new families for the 2023 hurricane season

WINDERMERE, Fla. – Girl Scout Troop 2059 is helping the community get results by providing with prep kits ahead of the 2023 hurricane season.

The idea came as ten young girls worked toward the Bronze Award, which is the highest achievement a junior scout can achieve. The Scouts decided to make hurricane prep kits after identifying a need in their own classrooms last year.

“A lot of kids in my class were like new to Florida. And they really didn’t know what to do. So they were kind of freaking out,” said Lily, one of the Girl Scouts building the kits.

These ten young girls have seen and experienced hurricanes before. Girl Scout Sophia said she’s been through three in her life and recalled some of the moments that made her nervous.

Girl Scout Troop 2059 at Bronze Award Ceremony 2023. (Jacyln Rhodes)

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“There was a blackout, too, and that lasted for like a day or two. And that was a little scary,” she said.

Lily added they wanted to build these hurricane kits so kids know what to do and aren’t scared like they might have been in the past.

Troop leader Jaclyn Rhoads said this project didn’t happen overnight.

“We’re in our fifth month now of planning and this is finally the execution of everything,” Rhoads said with a smile. “These girls did research, they researched hurricane facts, they visited with you at the news station to learn even more as our subject matter expert. Just seeing them grow, like watching them approach businesses asking for donations, has been amazing.”

Girl Scout Troop 2059 visited WKMG News 6 Meteorologist Samara Cokinos to learn more about weather and hurricanes in order to know what families needed to be prepared for during hurricane season. (Jaclyn Rhodes)

All of the supplies in the kits were donations made by local businesses. The Scouts also developed new skills along the way.

“It was kind of scary to talk to people. And I thought we weren’t gonna get that much supplies. But obviously, we got a lot,” Lily said.

Some of the items included in the kits range from flashlights to snacks, in addition to items for kids, like coloring books, puppets and stress balls.

“It’ll make them feel comfortable because they have all the supplies they need. Like maybe if they thought, ‘What if I don’t have all the supplies I need?’ Well, now you do,” Girl Scout Ava said.

Hurricane kit supplies collected by Girl Scout Troop 2059. (Jaclyn Rhodes)

Rhoads said it’s been a long process, but the girls have remained motivated the entire time. She added that she hopes their desire to help others trickles down to other youth in the community.

“Girl Scouts is all about that progression throughout the years in becoming leaders. And I see it’s happening now,” Rhoads said.

This troop wants parents to know that it’s important to get kids involved in hurricane prep, too. Kids are able to help put together items alongside their parents. This process can help the child feel prepared for the season and ease their worry.

Small steps like this can help in the long term too. As young adults, those that learn to prepare at an early age will already know how to be prepared for hurricanes and are more likely to prep ahead of time versus waiting until the last minute or not preparing at all.

The troop said this won’t be the last time they make kits. They are looking forward to making more in the future. Their “why” behind making the kits going beyond their own need.

“We like helping the world and helping people,” Lily said.

Now that’s getting results.

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About the Author:

Emmy Award Winning Meteorologist Samara Cokinos joined the News 6 team in September 2017. In her free time, she loves running and being outside.