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Brightening holidays for fire victims

Scouts visited the Scripps Ranch home of Lynette Rodenbaugh to create holiday ornaments. (photos by John Gregory)

Brightening holidays for fire victims

The holiday spirit was in full swing on Saturday, Nov. 11, as dozens of Girl Scouts from troops in the San Diego area visited the home of Lynette Rodenbaugh to create holiday ornaments. The ornaments will be delivered to families that were victims of the devastating wildfires that struck the Santa Rosa area in October.

“We are going to be boxing the ornaments and we are going to be taking them the second week of December up to Santa Rosa,” Rodenbaugh explained. “We know someone whose house was safe, but worked in a small school where 41 families lost everything in the Santa Rosa fires. So, we told them that we would have a box of ornaments for every family in their school that lost their home.”

Rodenbaugh hopes to have between 600 to 700 ornaments for the affected families in the Santa Rosa school.

The Girl Scouts put great care in creating their ornaments.

Rodenbaugh invited any Girl Scout troop in the San Diego area to participate. Girl Scouts from Scripps Ranch and Encinitas were working on the artistic creation of the ornaments as of early Saturday afternoon, including Girl Scouts from Troop 8641 and Troop 8686.

While Rodenbaugh purchased many of the materials for the creation of the holiday decorations, she noted that the Scripps Ranch Buy Nothing social media network was instrumental in donating items.

“The Buy Nothing site was great,” she said.

Scripps Ranch weather provided perfect conditions so that the Girls Scouts could create their ornament designs outside.

The ornament-making project is nothing new to the Rodenbaugh family as this was the third time they have opened their home to Girl Scouts for similar ornament-making projects. A few years ago, the Rodenbaughs hosted a similar event for their oldest daughter, Mindy Rodenbaugh, now a 19-year-old college student. Mindy was working on her Gold Award at the time, and expanded the effort to eight different workshops for that project.

The Rodenbaugh’s younger daughter, Emily Rodenbaugh, was involved in the award-winning Scripps Ranch High School Marching Band during a tournament competition Saturday, and was unable to attend this weekend’s event. Still, the Rodenbaughs hosted it anyway.

By participating, the younger Girls Scouts were eligible to earn an ornament-making patch. The older girls were eligible to gain service hours.
Overall, the project was a time of bonding and creativity.

“It’s just a lot of fun,” Rodenbaugh said.

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