Girl Scouts offer bear hugs at CCMC

PARKERSBURG – Patients in the Transitional Care Unit of Camden Clark Medical Center received a surprise gift Sunday as a group of 10 Girl Scouts handed out teddy bears they had collected.

“I was a Girl Scout leader for many years and this is an honor,” said Billie Bosley, of Ripley. “This brought back a lot of great memories.”

In the past six months, the members of Girl Scouts Troop 1063 in Vienna collected more than 300 bears for the long-term care unit of the hospital for the patients to have companionship. The project was done as their Bronze Award, which is the highest achievement Junior Girl Scouts can receive, said troop leader Kim Mommomessin.

“The girls were at first interested in collecting teddy bears and then we had to decide what to do with them,” Mommomessin said. “So, the bears came first and where to take them came second.”

The project taught the 10- to 12-year-olds how to work together for the betterment of the community, said Lori Sanders, whose daughters Kelsie and Laurel are in the troop.

“It also sets a good precedence for the girls to continue to give to the community later in their lives,” Sanders added.

Through the six-month project, the Girl Scouts made posters to advertise for the bear collections at both Greenmont and Vienna elementary schools.

“Each girl had to put in at least 20 hours of work and they worked very hard,” Mommomessin said. “They were very interested in helping the patients and it has been a great experience.”

Mommomessin added the girls learned how much work it takes to help others.

“It was an eye-opening experience for all of us,” she said.

Through their individual and group efforts, the girls collected more than 300 bears of all shapes, sizes and colors. Eighteen of those were handed out Sunday with the rest going to the long-term care department to be handed out to new patients as they come.

“This is a great way for the girls to reach out to patients that generally spend a lot of time in the hospital,” said Kim Couch with CCMC. “This is just wonderful.”

The gifts made many of the patients’ day more cheery.

“I couldn’t have thought up a better project for the girls to have done that would have made people any happier,” Couch added.