Feasibility study to convert Municipal Electric Building approved by voters
WOLFEBORO, NH – A Girl Scout troop that began as a FIRST LEGO League team several years ago took the challenge presented by the robotics competition to reimagine the reuse of an unused or underused building in their community beyond mere ideas. Having designed plans to convert the Wolfeboro Municipal Electric Building to a community center, they worked to bring that dream to reality, getting a $25,000 feasibility study passed by voters in March. Now the Girl Scouts have been recognized for outstanding advocacy by the New Hampshire Preservation Alliance with its Preservation Achievement Award.
At an online presentation of awards by the Alliance on May 5, the video notes that if you are worried about who is going to step up for the next generation of preservation challenges, “This award winner will give you hope.”
The Electric Llamas, as the Girl Scouts are known in the LEGO League, are Amelia Bickford, 14, a Girl Scout Senior; Adrianna Noel, 12, a Girl Scout Cadette; Evelyn Hafner, 12, a Girl Scout Cadette; Miriam Lambert, 14, a Girl Scout Senior, and Avalyn Lambert, 11, a Girl Scout Cadette. All are from Wolfeboro, and they are coached by Briar Rose Lambert, their troop leader and mother to Miriam and Avalyn. The team also has the support of additional trained volunteers and parent assistance.
These young women put uncounted hours into their project while at the same time preparing for and competing at the FIRST LEGO League events.
“In FLL, there’s two portions to the robot game, and they’re equally important,” said Briar Rose Lambert. “The theme was City Shapers, and had to find an abandoned or underused building to find what the potential use would be. Find a space and reimagine it. They get higher points with the more people they talk to. In the process of doing their plan they’ve met with town officials who are championing them on and want them to keep going. They asked the Board of Selectmen to give them money, so they taught the girls how to get a petitioned warrant started.”
The Girl Scouts surveyed the town to be sure of what their neighbors would want in a community center. They learned how to use computer-assisted design programming to draw architectural plans. They presented their plans to Wolfeboro selectmen and at Town Meeting, and campaigned to have a warrant article passed to provide $25,000 for a feasibility study.
As a team, they made the following statement for the video presentation: “We are excited for our work to continue. We look forward to setting up a committee of community members and continue working with community organizations. We hope to start our grant writing soon as well. We are eager to create this amazing center and highlight this historical building for generations to come. We plan to decorate the building with historical photos and tools throughout its years of use. We would like to thank our town, our community members, Board of Selectmen, Kurt from Clason Remodeling, and Maggie Stier for believing in us. We hope to invite you all to our community center in the coming years.”
The Preservation Alliance held this Girl Scout troop up as an example to all for successfully advocating for not only saving this historic building, but “sparking widespread interest in its future. The award recognizes their blue ribbon strategies and tenacity in promoting new uses for a building type that tends to be overlooked,” they said in a release. “They are certainly a model for others.”
As the Girl Scouts continue with their project, they will be eligible to earn Girl Scouting’s highest honors – the Bronze Award for Girl Scout Juniors (those in grades 4-5), the Silver Award for Girl Scout Cadettes (those in grades 6-8), and the Gold Award for Girl Scout Seniors and Ambassadors (those in grades 9-12).
Those interested in viewing the award video can see it at https://youtu.be/c43mxWJAFRs, starting at the 18:15 mark.
Girl Scouts of the Green and White Mountains, the council serving New Hampshire and Vermont, is beyond proud of these enterprising Girl Scouts, who embody the G.I.R.L. (Go-getter, Innovator, Risk-Taker, Leader)™ philosophy of Girl Scouting. They are truly young women of courage, character, and confidence, who are making the world a better place.
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.