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Girl Scouts make Newton road safer for turtles

Troop 12959 with turtle signs
Girl Scouts of Troop 12959 wanted to make it safer for turtles in Newton, and took action to buy and install signs warning drivers that the reptiles could be on a local road. The Girl Scouts gathered for this photo in February when the signs were purchased. (Courtesy photo)

Troop presented case to selectmen, were approved to install turtle-crossing signs

NEWTON, NH – Slow and steady may win the race, but it’s not a great strategy for turtles crossing roads. After learning from a turtle rehabilitator about these reptiles and their threatened habitats, Girl Scouts in Newton were determined to make the world a better place for turtles by installing turtle-crossing signs on Smith Corner Road. They got proof their hard work has paid off, as one turtle was spotted June 11 laying eggs near the signs.

Troop 12959 leader Cathy Rockwell invited turtle rehabilitator Chris Bogard to speak to the Girl Scouts last year, and she brought in two of her rescued turtles to visit the troop. Over the course of the last year and a half, the troop has done badge and Journey work related to turtles, culminating in a Take Action project to protect threatened species. Now turtles are being protected at the local crossing.

Using proceeds from Girl Scout Cookie sales, the Girl Scout Juniors purchased the signs. In February, they made a presentation to the Newton Board of Selectmen and road agent, asking to post the signs, which was approved. The signs were installed on Smith Corner Road near the intersection with Kenwood Drive shortly afterward.

“Just this morning while jogging by, I noticed a momma snapping turtle laying eggs along that stretch,” said Rockwell on June 11. “We'll have to keep an eye out for when the eggs hatch in 80-90 days.”

Girl Scouting encourages every girl to gain new skills and become a young woman of courage, confidence, and character. These Girl Scouts are truly G.I.R.L.s (Go-getters, Innovators, Risk-takers, Leaders)™ who are making the world a better place. To find out more about Girl Scouts and how to participate even as the pandemic continues, see

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 Girl Scout Leadership Experience is a one-of-a-kind leadership development program for girls, with proven results. It is based on time-tested methods and research-backed programming that helps girls take the lead—in their own lives and in the world. 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