Girl Scouts adjust to pandemic with outdoor projects, meetings, and activities
WINOOSKI, VT – Did you notice all those pinwheels spinning madly at Rotary Park in Winooski? Girl Scout troops in Winooski made and planted them all – 300 total – for a project called Pinwheels for Peace.
“We wanted to acknowledge International Day of Peace (Sept. 21 each year) by installing pinwheels in Rotary Park as a way to connect with others seeking peace,” said Amy Lothrop, leader of the Girl Scout troops. “It was also an impactful but easy community service project to execute during COVID-19's social distancing requirements. It brought us all together as a troop. As a multi-ethnic troop, we are always taking steps to build a more just and equitable world. Peace is definitely on our minds as part of that process. We are living the Girl Scout Law by making the world a better place every day.”
Some of the pinwheels were homemade, and some store bought. Lothrop said the location is one of the most traveled routes in Chittenden County so they knew lots of people would see it. Troops 58806 (Daisy/Brownie), 52013 (Brownie/Junior) and 30948 (Cadette and Ambassador) made pinwheels. Troop 30187 (Senior) bought pinwheels and installed all of them in the park.
Pinwheels for Peace started in 2005 as an art installation in Florida. The project has now been embraced by people across the world as a symbol of childhood, when things were simple, joyful, and peaceful.
Winooski Girl Scouts know how to stay safe and stay active, even with the pandemic restrictions in place. Lothrop said her troops have shifted to community service and outdoor activities.
“Our initial meeting was a Get To Know You event and practice of new meeting routines,” she said. “It may have been a little bit different standing 6 feet apart and wearing masks. But, we found that it only looked different on the outside. Inside, we all still felt the sisterhood that has always defined our troop.”
So far this fall, these Girl Scouts have gone apple picking at Chapin Orchard to donate to Feeding Chittenden and picked 300 pounds of apples. They took on a 2-mile hike in the Casavant Natural Area and discussed land stewardship and conservation even in a densely populated area, and practiced leaving no trace and tree identification. They also plan to focus on civic engagement, specifically on the centennial of the 19th Amendment, and will wrap up their fall activities with World Thinking Day, which was postponed due to COVID-19.
Lothrop said her Girl Scouts hope to have outdoor meetings again in January, likely with snowshoeing or sledding. “Yup, rain or shine or snow. Nothing will keep us from Girl Scouting!”
Girl Scouts provides an accepting and nurturing environment where girls build character and skills for success. In partnership with caring adults, girls develop qualities to serve them all their lives: strong values, social conscience, and conviction about their potential and self-worth. Through hundreds of programs offered each year, girls develop their leadership potential in activities that enable them to discover their values, skills and the world; connect with others in a multicultural environment; and take action to make a difference. This is the Girl Scout Leadership Experience. Learn more at www.girlscoutsgwm.org.
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 www.girlscoutsgwm.org.