The first thought that might pop into your mind when thinking about Girl Scouts is the boxes of cookies they strive to sell each spring. Not only does selling the famous cookies help the girls hone their business skills, but also it has raised funds that some local Girl Scouts are using for the betterment of their community. The Girl Scout experience has provided its members the opportunity to participate in a collection of engaging, challenging and fun activities like earning badges, going on trips, exploring science, getting outdoors and doing community service projects.
Along the way, some of Amery’s Girl Scouts are in progress of earning their Silver Award, the second highest award that the Girl Scout organization offers. Four eighth grade Girl Scout participants are completing their Silver Awards, which is the highest award you can obtain as a middle school student.
Certain prerequisites are required before they can attempt to tackle their project, including completing a Cadette Leadership journey and earning certain badges. Next, they must develop a project and have it approved by River Valley’s council. Their project needs to address the root cause of a community issue in a sustainable way, and they must show active leadership by involving others in the community. There must be 50 hours of work put in per girl for each Silver Award project. “My mom received her silver when she was younger, which inspired us to do it,” said Kaileigh Hosking, whose mother Erin is their troop leader.
Maya Curtis is starting a Library Club at the Middle School. Her goal is to have students spend time during study halls or after school working in the library to organize books, assist with projects and help the Media Specialists. She also noticed that the new Makerspace in the library could be used more efficiently. Curtis is working with the Media Specialists to determine how to help. One of her goals is to create instruction steps and videos for the different tools in the Makerspace, so students can see what to do instead of having the Media Specialists explaining each station. Maya is continuing to get the club working and plans to have the club continue next year even when she is in the high school. “Going for the Silver Award gave me the imitative to start a project that I had been thinking about for some time. This was the start button that got me going,” said Curtis.
Sierra Osborne, Anna Powell, and Hosking have been working together on the Little League Baseball fields. They saw the bleachers near one field were in bad shape. The boards were loose and the paint was peeling. The rocks under the bleachers were filled with weeds and the back border boards were rotten and disintegrating. They decided to renovate the bleachers, and also organized a workday for baseball families to come and get the Little League field ready for the season.
Jeremiah Fisk (president of the Little League) and others have prepped the fields and maintained them over the past several years, but the Girl Scouts thought that if several families came together and put in a few hours of work, they could get a lot done and help the Little League organization.
The 3 Cadette Girl Scouts worked with Lamperts in Amery to price out the materials needed to replace the boards on the bleachers. They spent a few hours removing old boards and scraping the underneath rocks out of the way, with the help of Dave Curtis and his John Deere tractor. Maya Curtis and Justin Hosking also assisted with work that day. The determined girls power washed the concrete blocks and re-painted them a few days later.
Rain and makeup baseball games caused some rescheduling, but eventually several baseball families worked three hours getting the bleachers finished and the fields ready. That hot afternoon several adults and children spent hours raking and shoveling the rocks back into place after black plastic was put down under the bleachers to prevent grass and weeds from growing. They also put all the new boards in place and attached them to the concrete blocks. The volunteers also raked dead grass and leaves, fixed some fencing, mowed, smoothed the dirt, replaced the benches on the picnic table and re-stained it. Erin Hosking, Cadette troop leader, said, “We really appreciate those who came out on Memorial Day weekend to work on this baseball project with us. We couldn’t have gotten all this done today without them.”
Fisk added, “I am excited we got so much done. The bleachers needed to be replaced. They were in bad shape. Thank you to these Girl Scouts for taking this project on.”
The Cadette Girl Scouts are looking forward to obtaining the Gold Award in high school and want to thank Lamperts for working with them on getting the needed supplies and providing the lumber at cost. The Girl Scouts used money they have raised over the past several years selling Girl Scout cookies to pay for the lumber and supplies necessary for this project. Amery Girl Scout troop 56272 also contributed over $300.