Members of Girl Scout Troop 2619 recently earned their Silver Award after a 1½-year service project conducted in conjunction with Habit for Humanity.
The Girl Scouts presented flower and vegetable boxes they constructed to the Habit for Humanity Restore on Friday. With the completion of the project, Sophia Wells, Jayden Thomason, Katalina Moran and Aleyxa Stafford earned the Silver Award, and Piper Green earned the Bronze Award.
To earn the Silver Award, scouts must complete 50 hours of volunteer service. It is one of the highest awards for scouts and allows them to bridge up from cadettes to senior scouts.
Led by Dena Thomason, Mesa Verde Service Unit manager, and leaders Cimber James and Tria Wells, the scouts initially planned to help Habitat for Humanity with renovation and building projects. However, Habitat for Humanity Executive Director Molly Greenlee said the group does not allow volunteers younger than 18 to be on site when power tools are present, so the troop had to problem solve to find new ways to volunteer.
Determined to stick with their chosen project, the scouts decided to build the above-ground planter boxes, help with landscaping, collect items for yard sale fundraisers and participate in dedications for completed housing projects.
Participating in these projects taught the scouts about xeriscaping, container gardening and community involvement.
When asked about challenges faced during the project, Sophia Wells recounted the difficulties of placing weed barrier fabric over plants that were already in place, but said she enjoyed working outside and learning about landscaping.
Andy Stafford, owner of Stafford Drywall, Stucco and Insulation, donated his time and supplies to the venture. He also helped the scouts build the planter boxes. Stafford taught them how to use tools safely after he helped them overcome their initial fear of power tools.
Cadette Jayden Thomason, said her favorite part of the service project was using the power tools.
The troop will now begin working toward earning the Gold Award, a total of 100 hours of service that must have a future benefit for the community. The award is akin to the Eagle Scout award for Boy Scouts and must be completed individually rather than as a group project.
Dena Thomason hoped the scouts would take what they learned from these projects and apply the lessons of problem-solving and perseverance to their individual Gold Award projects.