Carrie Pippin and her 9-year-old daughter, Jillian, journeyed Sunday from New Paris to Fort Wayne to visit Parkview Field, but not for baseball.
Along with hundreds of other families, they strolled the concourse for Girl Scouts of Northern Indiana-Michiana's second citywide recruitment and renewal event.
Discover Girl Scouting welcomed existing members – many of whom wore their tunic, sash or vest – as well as girls new to the program. About 15 girls registered in the first hour, said Scott Hermance, membership recruitment manager.
The council has about 6,000 members ages 5 to 17 guided by more than 3,000 adult volunteers.
Teena Weathersby-Hampton, the director of operations, credited the variety of programming for attracting members. Girl Scouts encourages outdoor activity and has also embraced STEM – science, technology, engineering and math. Attendees on Sunday could even earn the Cyber Hero Patch.
“We're offering a lot more for them,” Weathersby-Hampton said.
An event passport encouraged girls to visit 16 exhibitors stationed at the ballpark. The booths not only offered hands-on experiences for the girls but could also give troop leaders activity ideas, Weathersby-Hampton said.
Attendees gathered around Troop 50697, which let people race wooden cars down a three-lane track. The troop held a Girl-Powered Derby in the spring and is planning a councilwide derby this month.
Noting she also taught her troop to knit last year, leader Denyel Bond said she tries to introduce “as much new stuff as we can.”
Though not a troop leader, Pippin wanted to learn about activities Girl Scouts can do. The event was worth the hourlong drive, she said as Jillian, a Junior Girl Scout, moved from a booth about honeybees to an exhibitor letting girls test their archery skills.
Christiana Danielle Hicks, a Fort Wayne native known for her participation on “The Voice,” even gave girls a platform to showcase their voices.
After performing a few songs, Hicks welcomed girls onstage with her to sing and dance.
Hicks told them they're important, that they matter.
“You can do anything you want,” she said.