Girl Scouts earn highest award

Five girls just completed a project that has earned them high honors for community service.

The Girl Scout slogan reads, “Do a good turn daily.”

For the girls of Junior Girl Scout Troop 1297 it’s is a slogan they take to heart.

Kierra Richard, Megan Emmett, Morgan Hamilton, Bryanna Sharp and Becca Sweem are glad to know they are helping others during a time of need.

The five girls just completed a project that has earned them high honors for community service.

Their project of creating a book mobile cart for patients at the Whidbey General Hospital may help many people find a way to pass the time enjoyably during a stay at there.

The Girl Scout Bronze Award, the highest honor a Junior Girl Scout can earn, requires her to learn the leadership and planning skills necessary to follow through on a project that makes a positive impact on her community.

Step one: The troop needed find a project in the spirit of helping the community.

“Our troop decided to collect donated books and make a mobile cart for Whidbey General Hospital,” said Mary Emmett, Troop 1297’s leader.

Starting in February, they collected over 100 books for the cart and purchased materials with funds raised in cookie sales. The girls then met with Sally Fox who is the volunteer coordinator at the hospital, discussed their plans and how best to help the hospital.

The girls learned many new skills as well as applying knowledge from other projects they have done before.

“Using power tools,” was the unanimous response when asked what had been the most fun part of the project. All of the girls admitted that they had been a little timid of the tools before learning to use them.

With the help and support of the staff of Home Depot in Oak Harbor the girls were given expert instruction on how to use the tools and construct the book cart.

The project came with some challenges. “Mostly, not getting in each other’s way was the hardest part,” said Megan Emmett.

Building the cart was only a small part of the project that led to all five girls being awarded the Bronze Award.

To be eligible for the award, Scouts must complete several steps in the award criteria.

“The project must show she understands and lives by the Girl Scout promise and law,” reads the criteria from the Junior Girl Scout handbook. Other criteria include that the project should take about 15 hours to complete and the earning of several preliminary badges. The Scouts also have to follow the action plan in the “Adventures in Girl Scouting” chapter of the Junior Girl Scout Handbook. Lastly, the Scouts must provide community service inside or outside Girl Scouting.

Trish Rose, hospital community relations officer, accepted the book cart on behalf of the hospital and praised the girls on a job well done.

“It’s nice to see our young citizens embracing the notion of service to their community. It’s a wonderful gift and I’m sure our patients will greatly appreciate the wonderful selection of books that are now at their disposal,” said Rose.

The cart will be put to use and restocked by further Girl Scout donations and also by the Friends of the Library who will supply more loaner books.

All of the girls are entering the seventh grade in the fall and will soon transition from the Junior to senior Girl Scouts.