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Stitched with a common thread

Girl Scouts, Needleworkers find a lot to talk about as they work

Created date

September 20th, 2010

As the last few days of summer vacation dwindled away, Stratford high school graduate Analicia Caylor had one final thing she hoped to accomplish before she headed off to Texas A&M Kingsville. A Girl Scout for the past nine years, Caylor was vying for the organization s top distinction, the Girl Scout Gold Award. Only 5.4% of eligible Girl Scouts earn the prestigious award, which involves a minimum of 65 hours spent planning and implementing a project that will have a positive and lasting impact on the community. Caylor s goal? To make 24 baby blanketsfor The Gabriel Project, a crisis pregnancy program sponsored by the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston. My grandmother taught me how to knit and crochet, so that was my starting point, says Caylor. But developing leadership skills is also a big part of the project. I had to find a way to incorporate others into my plan. Caylor e-mailed Mary Kate Kell, pastoral ministries manager and volunteer coordinator at Eagle s Trace, to see if members of the community s Quilters and Needleworkers group were willing to share their expertise with Caylor and her peers.

Learning from the pros

The Eagle s Trace Quilters and Needleworkers meet every Tuesday to work on individual and collaborative projects. We make a quilt each year that we raffle off to residents in the fall to raise funds for our student scholarship program, says Betty Roberts, head of the group. We also have members who knit caps, blankets, and prayer shawls that they donate to various organizations. Some ladies just like to bring their own handiwork and visit while they work. Once she got the goahead from Kell, Caylor was eager to get her project underway. She recruited two of her sisters and two friends to join her for three work frolics with the Needleworkers. Analicia brought the blankets she was working on, but some of the other girls didn t have any experience with needle work, says Roberts. Several of our members volunteered to get them started. Over the course of the project, as the workers fell into a comfortable rhythm of working and chatting, the camaraderie between generations was evident. It s such a privilege to talk with these ladies, says Caylor. They ve experienced so much in their lifetimes. For their part, the Needleworkers were impressed with the teenagers. They just fit right in, says Roberts. And they re eager to learn. They really understand that it s not how fast you work, it s how well you do it.