Girl Scout Troop 28842 in Middlesex Township worked together to create an outdoor recreation area for the Middlesex Township Volunteer Fire Company fire station and were thanked with a cookout Thursday evening.
The troop's projects included providing and painting two picnic tables, painting cornhole boards and yard dice, doing landscaping and lighting around the entrance sign, and painting a mural inside the station where new members can add their names.
Troop leader Kristin Wilson said the project is part of the troop's Silver award, a community service project that Girl Scouts work together on as a group in sixth, seventh or eighth grade.
Troop 28842, which is made up of eight eighth-grade girls in Mars Area School District, wanted to do a project to help those who were affected by COVID-19, and especially those who helped others during the pandemic — doctors, nurses and first responders.
“(The girls) thought that with everyone being so affected with COVID, it was hard to not be able to get together and be in school,” she said. “The only places you could get together were outside, and there weren't enough places to get together outside.”
The girls spoke with the Middlesex Township Volunteer Fire Company and learned that the station was concerned about recruiting new members amid an increasingly aging population.
“They need younger guys coming in, but they're having a hard time reaching that demographic,” Wilson said. “The idea was to create a welcoming area (at the station) for everyone to be able to come to.”
Fire company member Denis Bishop, who worked with the troop on the fire company end, said the girls did “an amazing job.”
“It did two things: not only did it allow us to work with the Girl Scouts and meet their families, and tell their families the needs for the community, it also beautified the station,” Bishop said. “It helps us get noticed and be proud of what we have. Someone can come in and say, you know what, we really take care of this station, and have flowers out front. It's something to look forward to and be proud of when you go to the station.”
The troop was responsible for planning the project themselves, Wilson said.
“With a Silver project, they are fully responsible for planning and coordinating,” she said. “They're able to get as much help as they want, but in terms of planning they have to find someone outside of their family and troop who is an expert in the field to supervise. There was a lot of learning even in that.
“They definitely are motivated,” she added. “They keep us on our toes and come up with big ideas.”