Submitted by Abra Cross
For my Juniors’ Bronze Award they really did the “find a need, fill a need” part of their Journey. We planned a winter camp-out at one of our local camps the weekend before Thanskgiving Break. The weather was freezing – we even got a light dusting of snow! So, they were not up for their usual outdoors activities. However, the camp we were staying at has a building called Treasured Time – a library. We discovered that the library had been dedicated in the 60s, and that’s pretty much when most of the books were acquired. It was a mess! Many of the books were torn, yellowed, or moldy. There were spider webs and other critters lurking in every corner. We cleaned up a bit and the girls started talking about how cool it would be to thoroughly clean the place. Then they started talking about doing a book drive to update the books, and adding more shelves, and a reading corner… Well, we quickly realized that this was going to be more than a “tidy up” project and the girls sought permission from council to do a full renovation.
Bronze Award Project
To support the book drive for their project the girls put fliers around their neighborhoods, made announcements on their schools’ morning news segments, and did cookie booths at book stores to spread the word. Several books stores gave them donations and through all their efforts they collected almost 2,000 new and gently used books for the Scout library. They also collected over 500 books that were more “baby” books – board books, touch-and-feel, etc. Those books were donated to a local women and children’s shelter. The rest of the books were boxed up and taken to camp in May for the renovation stage of the project.
The girls toured a library and met with a librarian who taught them how books are cataloged based on genre, reading level, etc. They researched all about the history of libraries and determined how they would manage their library project. The girls purchased materials to build shelves and blankets/throw pillows for two reading corners. They also cut card stock and made a bookmark station so that girls who use the library can “make and take” their own bookmarks. They met with our troop’s Brownies and Daisies to teach them everything they had learned and they helped lead a sing-along story time at our local library.
For the actual renovation, they took all the books off of the shelves at the library. Books that were badly damaged were recycled. Everything else was deeply cleaned and organized. The girls built 4 new book shelves and all the books were divided into scout level categories – Daisies, Brownies, Juniors, Cadettes, Seniors/Ambassadors, Reference, and Scout Reference. They used their knowledge gained from the librarian who met with them to sort the books into the sections based on girl interest and reading level. Song and game books, camp info, history, etc was all in the Scout reference section and all other reference books were in the regular reference section. They made adorable laminated signs for each section and then alphabetized the books by author within each section. The renovation day took nearly 10 hours of work!!!
The girls were thrilled with their incredibly hard work. That camp is one of our council’s three camps used for summer resident camp. The resident camp director send us a lovely letter thanking them for their incredible work and said that now girls were actually interested in going to the library and reading books while at summer camp. Every time we go to that camp we bring new card stock for the book mark section and we do general tidying up. The sections have stayed very well organized and girls are obviously being great scouts and “leaving things better than they found them.”
The Read fun patch
makes a great reminder for your troop service project promoting literacy.
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