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Chichester Bronze Award Girl Scouts help bats, keep kids safe in the digital world

6.2021 bat house team with Candice Benson
Eva Harris, Caitlin Kleynen, and Isla Mailhot created bat boxes and taught others how to make them, becoming Bronze Award Girl Scouts with their work. They also researched bats and made presentations about the need to help the creatures. They were pinned by Girl Scout council board member Candice Benson on June 16. (GSGWM photo)

CHICHESTER, NH – Two teams of Girl Scouts have earned the highest honor available to their grade level, the Bronze Award, and were recognized and pinned on Wednesday, June 16.

The Girl Scout Juniors of Troop 51641 in Chichester – girls in fourth and fifth grades – worked on two very different projects to earn the honor. Annabelle Stewart and Elizabeth Weir, both 11, created a PowerPoint to educate others on how to be safe in the digital world. They worked with Jerry Flanders, a hospital tech earning his IT degree, who showed them what to look out for.“The girls did a great job,” he said.

They showed their presentation to a Daisy troop – girls in kindergarten and first grade – and to their own troop.

Eva Harris, 11, Caitlin Kleynen, 11, and Isla Mailhot, 10, wanted to help animals and their community, and decided to research bats common to the area and found that bat houses would help protect them and benefit people. They then set out to build bat houses and teach others to do the same. They worked with Russ and Tara Blaney on the construction of the wooden boxes.

“They all got very good at the drill!” he said.

The bat houses were donated to the state Fish and Game Department, which will place them where they are most needed.

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, their original plans were scrapped.

“COVID made earning their Bronze Award tricky,” said troop leader Malinda Weir. “Not only did they have to change projects mid-stream, it took a year longer than they had planned. However, they did persevere with grace, enthusiasm, and great attitudes! I am lucky to be their troop leader!”

The girls are already looking forward to earning the Girl Scout Silver and Gold Awards as they progress through Girl Scouts. They have discussed building gaga ball pits for the community, which is a type of dodge ball game played in an enclosed circle.

Girls and adults are invited to see what Girl Scouting is all about. It’s where she can be herself, have fun with friends, and change the world! See more at

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 girls throughout New Hampshire and Vermont, girls discover the fun, friendship, and power of girls together. Visit