The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

Sandy Hook

December 22, 2012

After shooting, Scouts come together to honor their own

(Continued)

A monument to the lost girls is being planned, as is a major event in January, where the 3 million women and girls involved in Girl Scouts worldwide will remember the eight little Girl Scouts of Newtown.

Robbin Chaber Allen, Kelsea's mother and the chief Girl Scouts organizer in Newtown, said the mother of one of the girls who died called her and urged her to use scouting as a way of remembering the girls. Four of the mothers whose daughters were killed are also Girl Scout leaders, Allen said.

"She wanted to make sure we did something that was positive, as opposed to just being about sadness," she said. "We hope they lean on us and grow with us. We have to take this and make something beautiful come out of it."

Brooke, who like Kelsea is a sophomore at Newtown High, said she had worked with one of the girls who was killed when she was in a child development class that pairs high school students with pre-schoolers. In a small town with so many people involved in scouting, nearly everyone has a personal connection to someone who was killed.

"There was a lot to cry about," Brooke said. "It's a lot to recover from, but we have to get stronger, and we will. That's the truth."

The Boy Scouts are also popular here in this town of rolling hills and wide open spaces where the scouts camp and organize public service projects such as building houses for the poor. About 550 boys and 180 adult volunteers participate in Boy Scouts.

Two of the eight boys killed were from the same Cub Scouts pack, and three other members of the 80-boy pack lost a sibling, said Tony Vogl, a Boy Scouts spokesman. In a show of solidarity, Boy Scouts and Girls Scouts from far beyond Newtown attended the funerals held here this week.

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