Congratulations to Connor O’Guynn, a junior at Heights High School. He is the new Kickstart Kids Karate SE Regional Grand Championship winner.
O’Guynn competed against all first-place winners for under-18 black belt non-sparring divisions. He will move on to the state competition on April 27, competing in black belt traditional kata, open kata and weapons.
Also attending the state competition are Jonathan Rodriguez in black belt sparring and Trey Guevara in black belt traditional kata, weapons and sparring. Rodriguez and Guevara are juniors at Waltrip High School. The three young men are students of Matthew Garza, karate instructor at Frank Black Middle School, and travel to Frank Black for practice several times a week.
Despite dire warnings of thunderstorms heralding a cold front, the Girl Scouts of Emerald Oaks Community enjoyed a truly magical weekend at beautiful Camp Agnes Arnold, nestled among the trees in the forest outside Conroe last weekend. Four hundred Girl Scouts and 150 Girl Scout adults were present for last Saturday’s activities. Some troops camped in tents, some enjoyed rustic cabins for the weekend and others came for day camp on Saturday.
The camping weekend’s theme was Harriet Potter’s Magical Weekend, so named by the Emerald Oaks Community’s Girl Advisory Board, which also designed a beautiful patch and T-shirt for attendees.
Facilitating activities for 550 wiggly and excited people, in the rain, traveling on foot across a wooded camp on dirt roads and paths, fitting into canoes and moving through the archery range smoothly is quite a feat. Kudos to the strong and experienced volunteers who gave their time for the weekend! Smiles were seen in every corner.
The weekend got off to a great start with a Friday night party hosted by the Girl Advisory Board. Girls enjoyed sorting (you know, the Sorting Hat!), refreshments including butterbeer and a movie. Saturday was filled with fantastic activities including a chance to make glitter slime, owlicopters, dragon eggs (bath bombs) and potions including friendship potion and a disappearing message. The girls got physical on inflatable obstacle courses and with archery. The Houston Cosmos Quidditch team was on hand leading Scouts in games, and canoeing was facilitated by three AMAZING Villarreal women who helped well over 200 girls safely enjoy canoeing, many for the first time. It was already gently raining as the girls and adults climbed aboard their canoes for the fourth canoe session of the day, but all of a sudden the weather changed and the cold front blew right on in with heavy rain and wind right in the middle of the one-hour session when 18 canoes were out on the water. Gusty winds blew inexperienced canoers to the shores and up against a bridge and it was a struggle to bring them into the beach, but the girls were on their game! Laughter and cries of “We did it!” echoed across Shadow Lake as drenched girls and adult volunteers made their way out of their canoes.
Girls also enjoyed learning traditional Girl Scout songs and games and donned Potter costumes and props for a photo booth. And naturally the event had a service project as Girl Scout events usually do – in fact, three projects. Girls brought “Dobby’s socks” to be donated to Star of Hope and stuffed owls to create an Owlery at Texas Children’s Cancer Center. During the day girls also decorated more than 300 bags for Kids Meals. Everyone was treated to supremely delicious food prepared by seven volunteer chefs – men and women from outside the Emerald Oaks Community kind enough to donate a huge amount of time and energy to feed everyone in style.
One very special piece of this event was the attendance of Troop 220002 made up of girls living at Star of Hope and New Hope Housing. This Troop brought 27 girls to camp ranging in age from 5-13 and were sponsored for the day by generous friends and families in and outside the Girl Scout community. These very excited Scouts enjoyed all the activities and particularly loved canoeing and archery, which most were doing for the first time. One cadette from the Troop scored TWO bullseyes during her first archery experience!
Saturday after the rain passed and the temps were in the low 40s, everyone gathered for a big campfire under the stars on the lake. The Emerald Oaks Community is very grateful to everyone who stepped up to make the community weekend a reality. It takes a lot of planning and hard work to create something this MAGICAL!
Neighbors you may know who were planners, volunteers, leaders or involved parents at camp: Alice Bohlae, Leslie Haydel, Sandra O’Guynn, Rochelle Salazar, Angela Richard, Nancy Boone, Shannon Boone, Rosa Murphy, Joy Caka, Yvonne Woolard, Sarah Becker, Cheyenna Brehm, Mindy Mitchell, Julia Snedecker, Jennifer Trevino, Blair Livingston, Jennifer Kurtz, Marianna Olivarez, Safiyyah Bilal, Tracy Lisewsky, Cindy Clayton, Stacy Gross, Anne Wright, Amy Spicer, Cassie Robinson (GSSJC volunteer), Vivienne Aceves, Lorrie Davis and so many more! Many area schools were represented by Girl Scouts: FBMS, Hogg, Sinclair, Stevens, Durham, Garden Oaks Montessori, Oak Forest, St. Rose of Lima, St. Ambrose, St. Theresa and many other area schools!