A patchwork of service and love

Photo by Mike Stagner

Carrie Barnett holds the custommade quilt given to her by the Girl Scouts and leaders.

The Lyon County Girl Scouts held their annual Spring Banquet on Sunday, May 6, at the Lee S. Jones Convention Center to celebrate everything Girl Scouts, and to pay tribute and say thank you Carrie Barnett who has stood for and behind our area Girl Scouts for the past 35 years. The event was celebrated by over 100 people in attendance which included troop leaders, volunteers, Girl Scouts and their families.

In addition to sharing a meal and the recognition of individual Girl Scout and volunteer participation and involvement throughout the year, awards for service and years of service were also presented.

This year's awards were bittersweet as the Girl Scouts presented Lyon County co-service manager and leader for Troops 4, 159, and 2143, Carrie Barnett, with a custom made quilt thanking her for her years of service and constant dedication to all the girls and the Girl Scout Organization. Barnett who is moving to be closer to family has been the foundation of Lyon County Girl Scouts and is known as someone who constantly enhances the social fabric of our community by giving of herself to everyone she knows.

"Carrie has been a role model, mentor and leader to me always showing me by example what it means to be dedicated to our girls and the Girl Scouts", said Lynn Orange Assistant Leader and volunteer for Troop 272. Barnett, who in addition to being a Troop Leader for three troops, is currently the Service Unit Manager for Lyon County and the Treasurer for Area 25. Over the years, Barnett has served on numerous committees and boards including holding positions as the Chairperson for Area 25, and as a delegate for both annual Service Unit Meetings and as a National delegate at the Annual Conference Meeting.

Barnett has had a tremendous impact in our community and with our youth influencing hundreds of girls, volunteers, leaders and people that know her. Girl Scout Laney Hunt, a member of one of Barnett's Troops said, "Mrs. Carrie has inspired a lot of people, including me, in unbelievable ways and is the one that makes everyone's day complete". Barnett's impact is evident with every girl in every troop past and present. "Mrs. Carrie always makes everything we do fun", said Girl Scout Jackie Hall from Troop 272.

Elizabeth Porter, Girl Scout Troop Leader for Troop 148, said that Barnett's infectious dedication and spirit drew her into the Girl Scouts four years ago when she and her family moved to Lyon County. Porter explained that she met Barnett back when her daughter was in first grade and decided to join the Girl Scouts. "She always made me feel like I belonged and that I was needed in my volunteering with the Girl Scouts", said Porter. Continuing Porter revealed that while Barnett had no idea who she was, Barnett intuitively knew that she wanted to be involved with helping girls reach their potential, and led the way in helping her do just that. "She is an amazing woman and mentor, who has dedicated so much of herself and her time to helping others…and truly makes this world a better place", said Porter.

Long time friend and Girl Scout Christy Stephens, who personally has been involved with and has served our girls and the Girl Scouts for 40 years, said, "Carrie, like the quilt she was presented with, has been a warm blanket to every one who knows her and is loved by all". "Carrie and I have been Girl Scout sisters for many years, and her "go get 'em" attitude rubs off on all those around her from the smallest Daisy Scout to the oldest team member", said Stephens.

Barnett who while leaving our area, will continue to be active with Girl Scouts of Kentuckiana as she leaves Bear Creek PLC and becomes a part of the Heartland PLC. "Carrie will continue to give her all to the youth wherever she is", said Stephens. "We will miss her smile, her laughter, and her ideas that roll off her tongue at 90 miles per hour…but most of all we will miss our dear friend and team leader", said Stephens tearfully.

In addition to her dedication and outreach with the Girl Scouts, Barnett has been active and involved with Lyon County Schools and has led the way for over ten years in partnering and bridging the Girl Scouts with 4-H. She has served on the Lyon County 4-H Council for over eight years. Her Girl Scouts have become 4-H members, and 4-H members have become Girl Scouts. Both youth development organizations share the goal of helping girls and youth become productive adults. Wanda Paris, Lyon County Agent for 4-H Youth Development, said that when talking with other 4-H Agents across the state she often mentions the partnership between 4-H and Scouts. She went on to say that other 4-H Agents often question the partnership as being in competition with one another, to which Paris proudly replies, "Not in Lyon County, and not when Mrs. Carrie is the Scout leader."

As a result of Barnett's involvement in 4-H, she has become active in other Extension programs. She is a Master Gardner member as well as an Extension Homemaker member, and has also served on the County Extension Council and on the Extension District Board. Barnett has given many hours of service to her community and to the youth here. From teaching Red Cross Babysitting Classes, to helping youth plant flowers and herbs, to involvement in Homemaker projects, Barnett is a very special lady to many. Paris said, "Although her contributions will be a part of our community forever, she will be greatly missed in Lyon County when she moves to be near her daughter and her family, but our loss is their gain".

Troop 272 Leader and Eddyville City Mayor, Nancy Slaton, said plainly what everyone who has served and worked with her expressed, "It's a privilege and honor to work with her and share in her generous spirit". Perhaps the best way to sum up Barnett's departure from our area is to say she is golden, just as it states in the Girl Scout song Make New Friends, "Make new friends, but keep the old…one is silver and the other gold".

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