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Brownie troop improves Newton rail trail, learn important life skills in Girl Scouts

Peanut Trail

NEWTON, NH | When a group of Brownie Girl Scouts decided to earn their Brownie Summit Award, they went on a series of hikes on trails in their community. They have hiked to the fire lookout tower at Pawtuckaway State Park during a troop group camping trip, which required a 6-mile return hike, and took an exploratory hike of the Peanut Trail in Newton in April, during which they collected trash while snow was lightly falling.

Troop leaders Niria Young and Cathy Rockwell of Brownie Troop 12959 led a brainstorming session with her girls, who decided to add markers to the Peanut Trail. They fulfilled that mission this spring.

“Our troop loves to hike and being outdoors!” said Young. “Cathy (Rockwell) and I, as their leaders, support and love the being in the outdoors as well. We have made it a mission to have the girls hike every year. When we started our journey as Daisy leaders, we took the girls outdoors on small trails on our community. From there we progressed to hike longer trails, where the girls get a chance to feel proud of themselves when they reach the summit.”

The girls drafted the design for their trail signs with help from their leaders and members of Girl Scouts of the Green and White Mountains, with additional help from Mike Kurtz, father of one of the Girl Scouts. Kurtz made the signs free of charge.

“As a troop, we decided that we wanted to make sure that we were accurate,” said Young. “We talked about the many different tools we could use to get the most accuracy. Lucky for our troop, Cathy’s husband, Jonathan Rockwell, is a civil engineer who facilitated the tools used for measuring distance. Once distance was established, the girls took turns using the tools, but not before we talked about tool safety.”

The Brownies, who were in second and third grade, used a hammer, socket wrenches, ratchets, and a measuring tape. Their favorites were the impact drill and the battery-operated drill, said Young.

“They sure love getting their hands dirty!” she said. “These signs will make hiking the Peanut Trail safer since it will let the hikers know where they are located in reference to the two streets where the trail starts and ends. As time goes by the girls hope to have safer trails in our community for everyone to enjoy.”

Girl Scouts is where girls take the lead, not stand in the background! Since the very beginning, Girl Scouts has provided girls of all ages and backgrounds with unique, girl-led experiences. Unleash strong! Be a Girl Scout. Join a troop today.

About Girl Scouts of the Green and White Mountains: Girl Scouts of the Green and White Mountains is recognized throughout New Hampshire and Vermont as a leading expert on girls. Our innovative leadership programs help girls discover, connect, and take action as they develop strong values, a social conscience, and a deep sense of self and their potential. Through our exciting and challenging programs, Girl Scouts not only participate but also take the lead in a range of activities—from kayaking, archery, and camping, to coding, robotics, financial literacy training, and beyond! Serving more than 10,000 girls throughout New Hampshire and Vermont, girls discover the fun, friendship, and power of girls together. Visit