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Local Girl Scouts collecting for cancer care

Junior Girl Scouts from local Troop 736 hope to make life a little easier for patients at the Richard A. Henson Cancer Institute of Ocean Pines. Working toward the Bronze Award, the highest honor given to scouts at that level, the girls are trying to put together 100 care kits to include items like fuzzy socks, ginger candies and tea, oral hygiene products, and small writing journals.

By Josh Davis, Associate Editor

(Aug. 16, 2018) The 11 members of local Junior Girl Scout Troop 736 are collecting materials to create 100 care kits for area residents going through cancer treatments.

The girls, ages 10 and 11, decided to undertake the project as part of their quest for a Bronze Award, the highest honor given to Junior Girl Scouts, according to Bronze Award advisor Colleen Dillon-Rutzler.

“The Bronze Award is a team effort,” she said. “The project’s objective is to benefit our local community in some way and each scout is expected to contribute a minimum of 20 hours.”

Dillon-Rutzler said each of the girls in Troop 736 have been in some way affected by cancer.

“My daughter, MaryAnn Catherine, in fact, not only experienced cancer as a daughter of an acute myeloid leukemia survivor, but also watched and was a special caregiver to my sister, her godmother, that succumbed to metastatic breast cancer after a 14-year battle,” she said. “With this in mind and the goal of the Bronze Award, the girls as a whole looked at making a difference in the community and developed some wonderful ideas to benefit the Richard A. Henson Cancer Institute of Ocean Pines.”

Dillon-Rutzler said the project goal is threefold, starting with making 100 care kits that include items such as fuzzy socks, tissues, brain games, lotions, ginger candies and tea, lip balm, ear buds, oral hygiene products and small writing journals.

They are also setting up a small area at the Ocean Pines center “where patients, while they sit getting treatments, can use colored pencils and coloring books, they can pick up a fleece lap blanket (that the girls are going to make), or they can pick out a warm hat,” she said.

“The last element of their project is to design and arrange a serenity rock garden outside of the infusion room – a place where patients can look out the window and see inspiring messages,” Dillon-Rutzler said.

Girl Scouts are in the process of collecting items for the kits, as well as new fleece material to make lap blankets, she said.

“The girls have contacted several local businesses to be ‘drop-off’ places to collect those requested needs,” Dillon-Rutzler said. “Our goal is to have everything assembled and presented to the cancer center by the first week of September.

“After that is accomplished, the girls are responsible to each write a detailed report in their own words of the past three-plus months of preparation and execution of the project,” she continued. “Each separate report is then submitted to Girl Scouts of the Chesapeake Bay for review and, hopefully, approval. Once approved, each girl will then have achieved the Bronze Award and will be honored at a special ceremony.”

She added the award is a pin that would be worn on the girls’ uniforms as they advance through different levels of the Girl Scouts.

Business and local groups that have agreed to be drop-off sites are:

-Little Lambs Learning Center and Community Church at Ocean Pines, 11227 Race Track Road in Berlin

-The Original Greene Turtle apparel shop, 11601 Coastal Highway in Ocean City

-Berlin Farm & Home Center, 115 Broad Street in Berlin

-Bruder Home, 18 North Main Street in Berlin

-Zenna Wellness Studio, 10 South Main Street in Berlin

-Stephen Decatur High School, 9913 Seahawk Road in Berlin

-Berlin Intermediate School, 309 Franklin Avenue in Berlin

-Ocean Pines Community Center, 235 Ocean Parkway in Ocean Pines

“We will be collecting up until Aug. 25, so that we may assemble the kits,” Dillon-Rutzler said. “We are no longer in need of ginger candy, as Wockenfuss has graciously donated a case of candy and a friend of the troop has supplied the ginger tea.”

The list of currently needed items includes:

-Fuzzy socks


-Brain games


-Lip balm

-Ear buds

-Small writing journals

-Pens and pencils

-Puzzle books such as Sudoku, crosswords and word searches

-Decks of cards

-Travel toothpaste/toothbrushes

-Travel Biotène products

“The largest portion of their project budget will be purchasing canvas bags to use as the kits for the patients,” Dillon-Rutzler said. “Finding a local business and printer in that effort to have 100 or so bags donated would be a great help.”

For more information or to donate items, contact Dillon-Rutzler at 443-614-0903 or email