SARANAC Several weeks ago, girl scouting celebrated its 95th birthday. Candy Noel has been involved in girl scouting for nearly half of those years. When she joined a Cadyville Brownie troop as a second grader she began 45 straight years of involvement in girl scouting.
Candys first 10 years of involvement were spent as a Brownie, a Junior, a Cadette, and finally a Senior girl scout. She fondly recalls many camping trips, earning badges and challenges, and learning a lot of different things.
She said her greatest accomplishment was earning two service bars as a Senior scout. Each bar represents approximately 50 hours of volunteer work.
Girl scouting was very different back then, she said. There were no bronze, silver, or gold awards like they have today, but I earned achievements at every level.
Right after graduating from high school in 1973, Candy stepped right into a leadership position. She lead a Cadette troop from 1973 to 1979, taking her troop of seven on numerous camp outs and trips.
From 1979 to 1989 her involvement was minimal as she married and started a family. When her daughter, Sabrina, turned five, Candy became her Daisy leader. Daisies are the youngest girl scout troop and were a new addition since Candys childhood.
When Sabrina and her Daisy friends bridged up to Brownies, Candy bridged with them as their Brownie leader, a process she continued again and again through all the levels of girl scouting until Sabrina graduated in 2003 with a silver award.
Through many of her years of leadership, Candy was also a co-chair of the Saranac Service Unit.
I loved being able to do things with the girls, she said. Taking them places, watching their faces light up when they learned something new. I had the opportunity to do things with my daughter that were not available to me as a girl scout. There are so many more opportunities for girls scouts now, she reflected.