NEWBERRY COUNTY — There is a new organization in Newberry County called Frontier Girls, and according to their brochure, they seek to assist girls in becoming women of honor and to develop in them the confidence and strength to become mothers and leaders of tomorrow.
According to Nicole Foster, troop leader, Frontier Girls troops are independent, which gives them the ability to function and fundraise in any way that works for their location.
“Which makes it very flexible for different towns, communities, different groups of girls,” she said.
Girls from ages three to 18 can join Frontier Girls, when they join they will be broken up into different groups; Penguins (preschool), Otters (Grades K-2), Dolphins (Grades 3-5), Butterflies (Grades 6-8), Eagles (Grades 9-12), Owls (Adults ages 18+).
“Even the scout leaders can earn badges alongside the girls,” said Sarah Banner, assistant leader.
Foster added that parents can join as well to earn badges alongside their daughters.
There are over 1,200 badges to be earned, when a girl earns a badge at a lower level, they then re-earn the badge by doing more than they did previously at a higher level. Banner said this is how they continue their education as they go on.
“So they never run out of things to earn, what a 16 or 17 year old girl is capable of is far more than what a three year old is capable of, but they can work on the same badges together. So it builds a better community,” Foster said.
When a girl joins the troop in order to earn a badge she will have to meet the requirements leading up to the level she started in. For example, if a girl starts off in the Butterflies, she’ll have to complete all the requirements in the three groups prior.
“Naturally we can make adjustments for some girls, some of the badges are a lot, and this is new to Newberry County,” Foster said.
There are nine areas of discovery in Frontier Girls, this includes art, character, the home, technology, the world, health and fitness, outdoors, agriculture and knowledge. Foster said if most of the girls in her troop are interested in art, that is the direction they will go.
“We have a lot more freedom, ultimately all the decisions land on our shoulders. Makes us able to focus on the girls, and what they want and the direction they want to go. As much as it is about leading them, it’s about teaching them leadership. So they can decide this in the area they want to work on,” she said.
Girls can also work independently, and they are not limited to what they can do in a troop meeting. Girls are also not limited to the badges Frontier Girls offer, let’s say there is a subject a girl is interested in but there isn’t a badge for it. Foster said all she has to do is write a requirement, submit it to national and they can create a badge.
Frontier Girls is open to all girls, the only requirement is they abide by the Frontier Girl Promise, “I promise to love God, be loyal to my country and to love my neighbor as myself.”
“The only thing we require is abide by the Frontier Girls pledge, which is to honor their God, their country and love their neighbor as themselves,” Foster said.
According to Foster and Banner, being a Frontier Girl is affordable as well. The price is $26 for a girl, and $50 for a family, regardless of how many are in the family. Foster did say the prices will go up in September, but the family price will cap out at $59 annually. Scholarships are also available.
“Girls can make their own uniform as well, which consists of their vest and then they just have to purchase the badges and things to go on it,” Banner said.
Uniforms are also available for purchase on frontiergirlsclub.com.
Over the Summer the Newberry County Frontier Girls (Troop 490) will be meeting sporadically, and when the fall kicks in they will meet weekly. As of now, they meet Wednesday around 6:30 p.m. at the Newberry County Library.
If you are interested in joining, you can contact Foster at 803-597-0340 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Frontier Girls also has a brother organization, Quest Clubs, Foster said if there is an interest in young men looking to create the group here in Newberry County, they would be willing to develop it down the road.