Girl Scouts tapped by Homeland Security

Girl Scouts tapped by Homeland Security

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By JILL MCNEAL
6 News Anchor/Reporter

KINGSTON (WATE) -- Homeland Security is enlisting some unlikely new recruits to fight terrorism and help with other emergencies -- the Girl Scouts!

Nine-year-old Elise Murphy has already earned a lot of patches. Next on her list? The new one for emergency prepardness, developed with the Department of Homeland Security.

Elise and her family know what it's like to live through a disaster. The TVA plant in Kingston spilled ash into the water right behind their home.

"It was pretty noisy when it dumped in. It looked really, really ugly," Elise says.

The new patch will focus on being prepared for all sorts of emergencies, from fires and earthquakes to a flu pandemic or a dirty bomb. 

"With the spill we've had here as well as on the anniversary of 9-11, I think it's a great idea because you just never know what's going to happen," says Elise's mother, Jill Murphy.

The federal government hopes the Girl Scouts will help spread that important message. 

"It speaks to how girls, even at a young age, can get involved and help their communities in a way that's so much bigger than just themselves, their local organization or even their state. This can go nationwide for them," says Christine Grider, with the local Girl Scouts of Tanasi Council.

For girls like Elise, it just builds on the basics of scouting.

"Every time you earn a patch, you help someone," she says.

The new patch program started in Washington, D.C., earlier this week and is now spreading throughout the country.  

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