Flower girls

Step by step, a Seymour business owner helped members of Girl Scout Troop 1239 earn another patch to place on their vest.

Bobby Eldridge, co-owner of Prestigious Affairs with his wife, Dawn, recently took time out of his busy schedule selling flowers and formal wear to lead the girls through the five steps required to receive a flower patch.

It all started with uncovering the science of a flower. He chose a daisy, the flower of friendship.

After handing each of the girls a stem of white daisies and a piece of paper, it was time to sketch their own. Eldridge led the way by showing the steps on a piece of foamboard.

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The first step was to draw a circle and fill it in. Then after trading markers with another person, they drew elongated loops all around the circle.

“They don’t have to be perfect,” Eldridge told the girls. “You see how the petals of the daisies are all different.”

The girls traded markers again and made more loops of a different color.

“We’re making another layer of loops. They can go between the loops. They can go over top of your loops,” he said. “And there, you have sketched your daisy.”

Eldridge then glanced at the girls’ sketches.

“Those look great,” he said. “Excellent.”

One girl noticed her flower was smaller than the other girls’ drawings.

“That’s OK,” Eldridge told her. “They come in all different sizes.”

The second step of earning the flower patch was looking under the petals. A couple of days before the demonstration, Eldridge put red food coloring and water in a tube and placed the stem of a white orchid in it.

By the time of the demonstration, the dye had pulled through the stem, causing the petals to change color.

One of the Girl Scouts told Eldridge about doing a similar experiment for a school science fair.

“That’s cool,” he told her.

For the third step, Eldridge talked about different ways flowers help people. Aloe vera is used on people’s skin when they get a sunburn, while lavender and eucalyptus are used to help calm the body.

The fourth step involved sending a message with flowers.

“I think this is where you’re going to have the most fun tonight,” Eldridge said.

He snipped roses off of stems, applied a special adhesive and gave a couple of roses to each girl. He also gave them a beaded bracelet and a ribbon.

All of those items were used to make a wristlet, which was the final step in the process.

“The trick to this is you have to make it and give it to your friend because it’s having fun with flowers,” Eldridge said.

Once the girls were finished making their wristlets, they traded them with a fellow Scout.

During the demonstration, troop leader Missy Casner also had Eldridge talk a little bit about his job and how he landed in the floral business more than 20 years ago.

That has included working with people to order the perfect dress or floral arrangement, being inducted into the American Institute of Floral Designers, making the annual trip to California to work on floats for the Tournament of Roses Parade and earning the opportunity to make flowers for President Donald Trump’s inaugural balls in Washington, D.C.

Casner said Eldridge’s demonstration may result in some of the girls getting into the floral industry someday.

“We appreciate you coming and talking to us,” she told Eldridge. “It was neat doing this, designing and making stuff. The girls now know a little bit more.”