SCOTCH PLAINS/FANWOOD, NJ -- Girl Scout Cadette troops along with their leaders of Scotch Plains and Fanwood assembled on Friday evening for their annual InGathering event that culminates their leadership abilities and talents. This year’s InGathering included about 90 Girl Scouts and had a spa theme, thus troops were expected to prepare presentations involving health and beauty. 

Some presentations included hand massage and reflexology, aromatherapy, body scrubs, bedtime yoga, bath fizzies, pocketbacks/hand sanitizers, make your own lip gloss, tea tasting, and healthy smoothies. The Cadettes all took turns working their booths as well as walking through their fellow scouts presentations to learn what they had to share.

“The best part about an InGathering is that it's about girls learning as well as teaching.  As girls learn and grow, it's important that they learn themselves before they teach others. My first InGathering was with the brownies, and they went around to the different countries.  They learned so much,” explained Susan Schuman, Cadette Consultant and Senior Girl Scout Troop Leader 40274. "The Cadette one is more extensive.  It's a very big transition for the girls from adult led to girl led.  And that is the best part about an InGathering."

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All of the girls were asked to bring toiletry items as donations to benefit The Westfield Food Pantry.  This organization serves numerous towns in Union County.  Over 100 items were collected.

Additionally, the Cadettes sponsored the annual tradition of the Make Your Own Badge Contest, in which each contestant designed her badge to represent an aspect of the event.  This year’s winner was Olivia Eckstine, a sixth grader from Park Middle School and a member of Troop 927.  

“Lately I've been taking sewing classes, and I love them and I’m learning a lot, so I thought it would be a good idea to make a fashion/sewing badge,” described Eckstine.  She will have the privilege of seeing her design turned into a badge to be worn by all Cadettes in attendance to commemorate the event.