Growing girls for Christ

Junior Leader Bella Hart works on her popsicle-stick person during the Sunflower Scouts meeting on July 10. (Reporter photo/Christine Boatwright)

By CHRISTINE BOATWRIGHT / Staff Writer

NORTH SHELBY – Eleven little girls in bright yellow shirts emblazoned with a cross and sunflowers sat cross-legged on the floor as they listened to a Bible lesson on July 10.

Martha Shaw led the girls through a lesson about family history and their relation to God and each other. After the lesson, the girls, grades second through sixth, made popsicle-stick versions of themselves.

Shaw and her husband led their two sons through Cub Scouts, but wanted a different alternative than Girl Scouts for their young daughter. When Shaw couldn’t find another option that combined the Christian faith with life lessons and outdoor activities, she founded Sunflower Scouts with a friend.

In August 2009, Shaw and Brandy Wood started Sunflower Scouts, using a Sunday school room at Asbury United Methodist Church in North Shelby.

“I wanted my daughter to be in a place where God is honored and recognized,” Shaw said. “I want to teach her to speak freely about God.”

Mary Martha Parisher passes out craft supplies to the Sunflower Scouts on July 10. (Reporter photo/Christine Boatwright)

The Sunflower Scouts meet every second and fourth Sunday afternoon at 4 p.m. Shaw leads about 10 girls, grades kindergarten through seventh, through a Bible lesson and arts-and-crafts session.

“God told me ‘This is what I want you to do,’” Shaw said. “I received training through being a Cub Scout leader. It’s a challenge to bring God into everything.”

Mary Martha Parisher is a leader for the Sunflower Scouts along with Shaw.

“We didn’t want them to just do girly things,” Parisher said. “We wanted to them to learn how to camp and pitch a tent, too.”

Parisher’s daughter, Caroline, age 7, said the Sunflower Scouts had their first weeklong day camp a few weeks ago.

“Camp was really fun. We got to shoot BB guns,” Caroline said. “We learn a lot about God; it’s always about God. We learned about the seven days of creation at camp and made homemade pillows because God rested on the seventh day.”

For more information about Sunflower Scouts, contact Martha Shaw at sunflowerscouts@gmail.com.