AYER -- In a remarkable effort, 14 members of Ayer Girl Scout Troop 75447 received individual Girl Scout Bronze Awards, the highest award a Junior Girl Scout can earn. It is awarded to Girl Scouts who demonstrate extraordinary leadership by developing a sustainable project addressing important community needs.
Members of Troop 75447 worked as an individual or in small groups of two to three, each developing their own project to address a need that they identified in their community.
"Animals Anti-Stress for Vet Visits" -- Jocelyn Testa and Mary Rawlinson researched ways to help calm animals during vet visits and created a pamphlet to educate pet owners. They taught a group of kids how to reduce stress for animals and helped them make special sock toys for the Ayer Animal Medical Center. The toys are designed to hold the owner's scent, which research has shown to help to calm pets during vet visits.
"Days for Girls" -- Lizzy Haas and Gianna Bonina collected fabric and arranged to have sustainable feminine hygiene products sewn and transported to girls and women in Africa.
"Keeping Wild Animals Wild" --Keziah Salter, Annika Farley, and Jaidyn Kreamer researched and educated their community on how to approach encounters with wild animals, as well as how to help keep the animals safe and not interfere with their habitats. To share what they learned they organized nature walks, created a series of educational social media posts, and gave a presentation at a Page Hilltop School Community Meeting.
"Mosquito Control-Bat Houses" -- Molly Schneider, Kiera Fallon, and Haley Abraham wanted to help provide natural mosquito control in the community. Receiving approval from Ayer's Parks and Recreation Commission, they built and installed bat houses at Pirone Park.
"Recycling, Littering, and Pollution" -- Josefina Daisy (with help from Jaidyn Kreamer and Kaylie Petullo) organized a neighborhood clean-up and approached Town Hall officials about changing recycling schedules to help improve community recycling efforts. She also taught a class of pre-schoolers about recycling, littering, and pollution.
"Turtle Signs" -- Niamh Fallon, Grace Hanss, and Bryann Meadows wanted to help protect turtles, including Blanding's Turtles, which are listed as a threatened species in the state of Massachusetts. Working with Ayer's Town Hall and the Department of Public Works, their efforts resulted in the placement of an educational sign and turtle crossing signs at several key locations in Ayer.
Bronze Award projects are not a mandatory part of the Girl Scout curriculum; however, all 14 of 75447's current members took up the effort of developing and carrying out projects that would make a positive impact in their community.
"We are extremely proud of them," notes Sandra Testa, who leads Troop 75447, along with Kristin Bullwinkle and Katie Haas.
The Bronze Award recipients showcased their projects and were honored at a special ceremony attended by friends and family on Sept. 23 at the Congregational Church in Littleton.