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Girl Scouts Keep Strong Ties in Pleasantville

PLEASANTVILLE, N.Y. – The Girl Scouts of America have called Pleasantville home for over 25 years and they don’t plan on stopping anytime soon.

“We love it here in Pleasantville,” said Jean Havens, Director of Communications for Girl Scouts Heart of the Hudson.  “Just the name ‘Pleasantville’ seems like it should be associated with Girl Scouts.”

In fact, Pleasantville holds deep historical ties with Girl Scouts.  Founder Juliette Gordon Low’s goddaughter Anne Hyde Choate was a Pleasantville resident and created the first ever Westchester County Girl Scout troop in 1915, which was based out of the Bedford Road School.  Since 1985, the Westchester County regional headquarters for the scouts has been located on Bedford Road after moving from a building on Grasslands Road in Valhalla.  The facility currently houses the Girl Scouts Heart of the Hudson, a merged organization made up of Dutchess, Orange, Putnam, Rockland, Sullivan, Ulster, and Westchester Counties.

Overall, the Heart of the Hudson facility serves over 32,000 girls in the Lower Hudson Valley Region and over 15,000 in Westchester County alone.  Local Westchester county troops such as Ossining, Scarsdale, and Pleasantville use the facility to hold their troop meetings and to also receive training in programs such as CPR and first aid.

Although the building oversees many of the large aspects of the Girl Scouts organization, Fund Development Manager Monica Spears says it is important for the group to remain close to the local community as well.

“A priority for us here in Pleasantville, and all of our towns involved with Girl Scouts, is to give back to the communities,” said Spears, a resident of Pleasantville and one of the leaders involved with the Pleasantville troop.

Spears said that the 268 girls in the Pleasantville troop are involved in a variety of programs such as midnight runs to food shelters in New York City and clean-up projects at local village parks.

Since being involved with the scouts in Pleasantville since the late 1980’s, Spears says she is impressed with how far it has developed over the years and hopes it continues that way.

“Just seeing how diverse the group of girls is today from what is used to be is really remarkable,” Spears said.  “And it’s only going to continue improving.”

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