Girl Scouts earn art party for cookie sales


Nine members of Girl Scout Troop 1239 in Seymour combined to sell more than 4,500 boxes of Girl Scout cookies earlier this year.

For averaging more than 400 boxes, they could pick from a list of 13 Baker’s Dozen incentives offered by Girl Scouts of Kentuckiana. They chose an art party with a local instructor.

For averaging more than 500 boxes and more than five girls selling, they also could choose one of five Fab Five incentives. They selected tickets to Holiday World and Splashin’ Safari.

Since the program started a few years ago, the troop has been rewarded with an incentive each time. The last two years, they chose lunch and a limousine ride with the Girl Scouts of Kentuckiana chief executive officer. Last year, though, they didn’t get to do that due to the COVID-19 pandemic, so money just went into their account.

This year, most of the choices required travel, and at the time of selecting the incentives, families had to be in the same vehicle and couldn’t have others with them.

Staying close to home wound up being the best choice, and Troop Leader Missy Casner said the girls were glad to gather for a fun experience.

On July 9, they spent three hours at Southern Indiana Center for the Arts in Seymour, touring the print shop with Don Hill, drawing still life with Executive Director Speck Mellencamp and sitting outside to draw.

“It’s something different. Like the limo ride, besides myself, I don’t think any of them had ever been in a limo,” Casner said. “Even if they don’t remember anything else, they are going to remember (visiting the arts center). Even if they don’t remember what they drew that day, they are going to remember being here, sitting outside drawing.”

Eight of the girls were able to attend the art party along with Casner and co-leader Holly Fields.

They started inside the center with a brief introduction from Mellencamp.

He explained how he has been drawing academically for 10 years and earned a degree in painting from Rhode Island School of Design. He has been SICA’s executive director since the summer of 2020.

He told the girls how anyone who draws gets their start.

“When I was younger in elementary school, we would have art classes, and they teach you a formula to draw something. It would be like, ‘First, you make a circle,’” he said.

“When you learn to draw like that, you learn to draw one thing,” he said. “I would always get frustrated because I would be like, ‘I know how to draw something,’ but then I would want to draw the same thing at a different angle or I would want to draw something else, and you would have to learn a whole new technique to draw something else.”

He taught the girls how to take a formula and apply it to draw anything, including academic paintings, still life or portraits.

“Still life, I wasn’t most excited to draw that when I first started, but it’s a good starting point to learn the basics that you can then take and apply to anything,” Mellencamp said. “Those people know how to draw like this and then they use those skills and transfer them over to whatever discipline they want to excel forward in.”

After spending time visiting with Hill in the print shop on the arts center campus, the girls returned to the main building to try their hand at a still life drawing of a bowl, a vase and an apple on a table.

They closed their visit by sitting outside on the stage in front of the pottery barn to draw anything in nature.

“They really like to sell cookies, and they get to do fun things because of that,” Casner said. “There are several artists around here, but I just like supporting the arts center out here, so any time I can bring 4-H or my Girl Scouts out here, I want to do that.”

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