Local News

Girl Scouts putting faces to names etched on sidewalk a long time ago

SEBRING-Some of the names are lightly etched and hard to read, others are clear to the eye.

Some are full names with the middle monikers included, others are married names that start with a Mrs.

What they all have in common is the home where they rest -- an inside sidewalk by to the Girl Scouts House on Eucalyptus Street in downtown Sebring -- and how they ended up there.

Possibly, all those who carved their names when the sidewalk concrete was wet while it was being built were connected to local Girl Scouts troops in some way, Girl Scouts Troop 773 leader Darlene Padgett conjectures.

Now, four Girl Scouts are trying to track down the women or their families and preserve the history of the distinctive log Girl Scouts House that was built in 1939 and the memories these ladies left behind.

It's part of a project Troop 773 Girl Scouts Mikyla Berish, Zoe Stanley, Casey Pollard and Torie Allen are doing for their Silver Award, which is open to Girl Scouts cadettes in sixth, seventh and eight grades.

The idea came out when the county, which maintains the property, decided they needed to rebuild the decrepit sidewalk, which meant pouring new concrete over the names, some which date back to 1947, said troop leader Danyle Berish.

Since the county is also making the path to the Girl Scouts House ADA-compliant, the Girl Scouts figured it would be a great idea to transfer the names from the old sidewalk to the new ADA-compliant one and find some of the women with the names and recognize them or their family members at a dedication ceremony.

Sunday, the girls penciled over the monikers so they could read them well, and collected more than 60. Last week, they tried to use shoe wax but that didn't work since the ground is very rough, Berish said.

The project is like a mysterious journey into the past for the four Girl Scouts.

They know next to nothing about any of the women, Berish said, and are hoping the community comes forward and identifies them -- or better still -- the women or their families or friends get in touch with the troop.

Zoe, who is the designated historian, has tried to do some digging. She tried to track down some Girl Scouts history from the Sebring Historical Society archives but couldn't get any from the right time period. Berish is also hoping the Girl Scouts' archives come up with something but they are keeping their fingers crossed.

The troop has set up a Facebook page -- Highlands 773 Silver Award -- where the girls are posting their updates, along with pictures. They can also be emailed at girlscouttroop773@gmail.com

To complete the Silver Award project, the girls have to put in 52 hours of community service and each of the four have designated jobs to do.

"It's the highest achievement you can get as a Girl Scouts cadette," Mikyla, who is in charge of the publicity, said. "It's a pretty big deal."

Casey is the contractor liaison while Torie is in charge of planning the dedication ceremony.

The four have been longtime Girl Scouts and worked together on their Bronze Award project while they were in elementary school. They made first aid kits for the 20 Girl Scouts troops in Highlands County at that time along with a safety and first aid book.

While the girls started the project in February, the county has given them some leeway to get the names off the sidewalk before they start to reconstruct it, Berish said.

Along with the names are images of hand and feet prints, troop names and numbers.

Here are some of the names the girls etched out Sunday. See a complete list at www.highlandstoday.com

Barbara Jones

Charlotte Belcher

Faye Thompson

Elizabeth Wyatt

Judy Lee Pagy

Martha Carter

Dot Ellen Gould


Margaret Ruth Miller

Hilda Jones

Pamela Hallowell

Taron outer

Carolyn Ann

Billy Joe Weatherly

Jody Mattw

Mary Ann Jeness

Jean Jones

Carol Maborns --Honor Scout


Lora Gould

Barrbara Anne Stephens

Gea Fall Lee

Ruth Wyon Gea


Sallie D. Agell

Virginia Harston


Pat Jackson

Joan Higgins


Nancy A./Mary Lou

Jimmy and Nancy


Perry R. Jam

Beverly A. and Chuck C

Nora Jarrett

Penny James

Jamet Entz

Toay Ward

Mozell Stanley

Mary Louise Smoak

Joy Jen

Mrs. Jim