Scouting the Mall - Girl Scouts Store Moves to Ashland Town Center

 

Lisa Patrick

The Ashland Beacon

 

   For years, the local chapter of Girl Scouts, the Girl Scouts of Wilderness Road, has run a store on the corner of Greenup Avenue and 16th Street with their offices right above them. While the store was open to the public, not many people actually utilized it other than local Girl Scout leaders. That all changed this past weekend when the Girl Scout store moved from the little shop downtown to the Ashland Town Center mall.

   The new Girl Scout store, located near the entrance to J.C. Penney, opened this past Friday with a ribbon cutting attended by local Girl Scout leaders, members of Ashland Alliance, City Commissioners Josh Blanton and Marty Gute, Mayor Matt Perkins, and Faith Fountain from Ashland for Change. The ribbon, cut by Mary Lara and Catie Hardesty from Girl Scout Troop 98 in Boyd County, were the two local scouts selected by the Council to formally cut the ribbon. The girls have remained active in scouting during the restrictions of Covid and are both actively working on their own respective award projects. Their mother and troop leader, Teresa Hardesty, said, “I am excited to see the community through Ashland Alliance, Ashland City Council, and Mayor Perkins supporting Girl Scouts and our girls and young women in their leadership development.”

   With the store being at the Ashland Town Center mall, Girl Scouts will become more open to the public. Karen Pierzala says, “we are so excited to serve this area from Ashland Town Center. This move places us in a unique position to better serve our community.” The new store will offer a way to purchase Girl Scout merchandise including uniforms, badges, and other supplies. During Girl Scout cookie season, cookies will be available for purchase at both the store and at the Girl Scout-led kiosk by Bath and Body Works.

   The new store offers something that was not available at the old store. Karen Pierzala says that “in our revamped storefront, we have ample space to host training, troop meetings, and Girl Scout programming.” Although those things will be getting a slow start due to Covid restrictions, the Girl Scouts of Wilderness Road Council hopes to be releasing dates for volunteer training and “after school programs for small groups of Girl Scouts following current guidelines,” according to Pierzala.

   On Saturday, the store held its Grand Opening with the first 100 shoppers receiving a free gift. They were also passing out cupcakes provided by Tipton’s Traditions. Each of the cupcake designs was inspired by a type of Girl Scout cookie. Many of the mall shoppers took the chance to come in and take a look around the new store. Hardesty feels that “it’s going to provide amazing visibility and access for all things Girl Scouts.”

   Mary Lara and Catie Hardesty were “super excited to see the new shop and program space open up. They hope to one day be able to volunteer for some of the programs for younger girls that will be held in the space after school and on weekends.” Catie Hardesty managed to nab herself a cupcake inspired by Thin Mints.

   The retail hours for the Girl Scout store will primarily be consistent with current mall hours. The shop will be open Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Following the capacity guidelines set up due to COVID, only 19 people are able to be in the store at any given time. People are welcome to watch for upcoming training and program announcements on the Girl Scouts of Wilderness Road Facebook page.


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