SHERIDAN — The Girl Scouts of Troop 1334 got a gracious surprise at their meeting Monday night as a recipient of their goodwill stopped by for a visit.
Jesse Workman of Sheridan recently returned home from his second Army deployment to Afghanistan.
While overseas, the girls of 1334 sent him care packages throughout both deployments complete with items they handpicked and an abundance of cookies, so Workman came to thank them for remembering him.
“We hardly ever get anything sweet,” Workman said, “and really it’s just nice to get something from home.”
The girls have been participating in the “Gift of Caring,” a patch earning community service effort of the Girl Scouts, for as long as they have been together, which for most of the troop is 11 years.
Troop leader Susan Hitchcock said that in one prior year’s effort 160 boxes of cookies were sent overseas from Sheridan after a letter to the editor from the troop printed in The Sheridan Press asking for donations.
In addition to the cookies, each girl picks out and purchases their own items to include, which have ranged from puzzle books to hand sanitizer.
Workman said he shared each of his care packages with his own troop overseas and noted that they never fought over the contents except for a friendly joust or eating competition with the one pound snickers bars.
“The snacks are great because you get whatever they feed you over there and almost every day it’s chicken and rice,” he said, adding that the first thing he did when he got stateside was order a pizza.
Workman, an Eagle Scout himself, was stationed in a town center training Afghanistan Policemen to be self-sustaining after U.S. troops depart.
He told the girls that the young policemen in training, who were as young as 12 years old, enjoyed the treats too.
The girls are no strangers to the comforting power of their cookies. As part of other community service projects, they have done things like sending thin mints to oncology centers because they heard it helps with the nausea.
Hitchcock said in her 21 years as leader of this troop, this is the first time any of their care package recipients has ever come to personally thank them, though two people did send thank you notes and one included a picture of himself with his Blackhawk.
“Most of the time the girls don’t even know if the cookies got there,” she said.
The troop gets suggestions from the Sheridan Veterans Council, their teachers and their family and friends on who to care for overseas and has already selected their next recipient, Michael Eliason, also in the army.
The troop will be selling their remaining boxes of cookies this Saturday in front of J.C. Penneys from 9 a.m. to noon.