For years, Orli Slack begged her mother to be a Girl Scout every time she saw girls in uniform hawking their signature cookies. She was never old enough to join a Daisy troop. Until now. At 5 years old, Orli is a new member of the recently formed Decatur Jewish Girl Scout Troop 19747.
About 10 girls are members of the new troop that met for the first time Sept. 23 in Orli’s sukkah, and again Oct. 7 at the Buford Corn Maze for a hay ride and other autumn activities.
Orli said about her longtime desire to be in such a group, “I want to be a Girl Scout because I like having friends and earning badges.” In addition to making new pals, she said her favorite part of Girl Scouts is “just having fun. Jewish things happen in the troop and if you’re Jewish, you can come! Girls should join Girl Scouts because they might be interested and might want to hang out with some other Jewish girls.”
Her mother, Laurie Slack, is the troop leader and organizer. She said the girls come from different synagogues and schools. “I’m super excited these girls came together whose paths may not have crossed otherwise.”
The troop began with seven members and has grown through word of mouth.
Slack said she started the troop after trying to get her daughter into another local group, which happened to be meeting on Rosh Hashanah. “It’s an ongoing problem. Stuff is always taking place on holidays.” So, she decided to start the Jewish troop.
Involvement in the Jewish community is nothing new for Slack, who is a Hebrew School teacher at Congregation Shearith Israel. An Atlanta native, she was a Jewish program director for the Jewish Community Center in Columbia, S.C. before moving back to Atlanta last year.
In the future, the troop plans to earn badges and participate in other events. For instance, they plan to send Chanukah cards to U.S. soldiers, participate in Girl Scout Shabbat and hold a campout in the sukkah when the holiday rolls around again. “Wouldn’t that be a fun way to earn the camping badge?”
Orli is already looking forward to a particular event. “We can have a Shabbat celebration with my troop,” she said, “That would be awesome!”