Editor's Note March 21: This story has been corrected to reflect the proper category of Girl Scout award.
YORKTOWN, N.Y. — Members of Yorktown Girl Scout Troop 2923 don’t try to sugar coat cancer, but rather teach about it in a sweet setting.
As part of their silver award project, the 14 members of the troop created a life-sized candy-land themed event and invited other Girl Scouts and Brownies to take part in the educational day. There was a full Candyland game board, to entertain and educate the 75 Girl Scouts, Daisies and Cadets who attended with games like breast cancer bingo, melanoma maze, prevention pond and treatment tunnel. One game was a crossword puzzle manned by Cynthia Schmidt, Teresa DeVino and Laurunce Rosenthal, who explained the idea behind educating younger kids with a game.
“I think if people learn about cancer in a fun setting, they don’t be afraid to ask about it or learn more about it,” said Devino.
Rosenthal explained the event was a continuation of their Relay for Life team, “A World Without Cancer—How Sweet it Would Be.”
Rosemarie Schmidt, Cynthia’s mother, who envisioned the idea behind the project, was seen at the table collecting supplies dropped off by the scouts for survivor bags to be given out at Relay for Life. She echoed her own daughter and friend’s sentiments that the goal was to teach about cancer in as fun of an environment as possible.
“It’s kids educating kids about cancer and we figured it’s a fun way for the girls to learn and hopefully if they’re learning about it in a fun environment they’ll remember it,” Rosemarie Schmidt said. “We’re thinking if we do it in a fun way they’ll remember, ‘Oh why did I go through that maze? Oh right, I went through the melanoma maze because I didn’t put sunscreen on.’”
She said it was interesting to see the girls take the idea she presented and put into to action, and not only come up with ways for other girls to learn, but learn about cancer themselves.
“One of the things we really learned, even with our own girls who are older, is they really don’t know what cancer is. They know of cancer as a bad word, some of them know that it’s a disease that you get and people can die from it, but nobody really understood that there’s different types of cancers,” she said. “So we said that this is a good way for us to educate the younger kids and learn at the same time.”
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