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Freshmen create garden to earn Girl Scouts award

Lucy Smodic and Caitlyn Campbell created a bird and butterfly garden outside of the Brentwood Library. (Photo contributed by Lucy Smodic)

Freshmen Lucy Smodic and Caitlyn Campbell got the idea for achieving the second-highest award a Girl Scout cadette can earn while flipping through Better Homes and Gardens magazines owned by Smodic’s grandma. 

“I was flipping through one of them when I saw a section on gardens,” Smodic said. “Our project for the award had to be something sustainable, so I thought it was a great idea to build a garden. I pitched the idea to our troop leader and we began brainstorming.” 

To earn the Silver Award, Girl Scouts have to identify an issue in their community, create an action plan, and spend a minimum of 50 hours putting the plan into motion. 

Campbell is thinking of going into a career related to the environment, so she was keen on the garden idea. 

“I knew in January last year that I wanted to work toward the Silver Award, but it took us a while to get it started,” Smodic said. 

The girls went through a few ideas before settling on the garden idea. 

“Our first idea was to build beds and toys for a dog shelter, but that was not sustainable, so we chose to create a bird and butterfly garden outside of Brentwood Library, as it would take care of itself even after we were done with the project,” Campbell said. “I enjoy building things and caring for the environment, so this project was something I was interested in doing.” 

The girls also had to complete a few journeys to complete the requirements for the award. 

“Earlier in the summer, we went to an environmental place, where we learned about how what we were doing would affect the environment around it,” Campbell said. 

For the project itself, the girls spent a lot of time doing physical labor. They had to sift through dirt for three days, place in mulch and fertilizer, add fencing and houses for butterflies and birds on the trees, and plant flowers to attract different species of birds and butterflies. 

“My favorite part of the project was when we planted the actual flowers, because as we were planting them we got to see all the butterflies start coming in,” Campbell said. “We also saw a yellow oriole land on one of the flowers, and it was really cool to see it all come together.” 

Smodic especially enjoyed the tech aspect of the project. 

“My favorite part of the project was making the website. It was very tedious work, but I enjoyed it,” Smodic said. “The site has a cool list of all the birds you can see, their descriptions, and also butterflies. It also has information about us and why we followed through with this project.” 

Brentwood Borough is going to take care of the garden from now on. 

“I felt really good and accomplished after the project was finished. Our work is going to be there for years to come and will be seen by many people,” Campbell said. 

Smodic said she felt like she did something good and fulfilling that other people can enjoy.

“Our project has positively impacted the library. It has added to the look and appeal of the library,” Smodic said. “Smaller kids will be able to see all the birds and butterflies during events. Many people are learning from our site how those things will impact the community for the better.”

Tracy O’Neill, the manager of library services at Brentwood Library, agreed with the girls. 

“The addition of the butterfly garden has been very beneficial to the library,” O’Neill said. “A lot of people have walked by and noticed the garden. Some have even commented on how beautiful it is. Also, having the garden in a way extends the library more to the community, showing how we can offer educational space beyond the indoors.”

The girls met each other in the Girl Scouts program in kindergarten.

“I stayed in the program because I think it’s a really good learning experience. I very much enjoy what we do. This summer we are going to the Grand Canyon with all of the money we have saved up. I also have met a lot of my friends, like Lucy, via Girl Scouts and have made memories with them throughout the years.” Campbell said. 

Smodic said she also has formed really good bonds throughout the years because of Girl Scouts. 

“My favorite memories are from the different camps we have gone to throughout the years over the summer. I have met a lot of different people from different places, and I am planning on staying in Girl Scouts till my senior year, as it looks good on college applications,” Smodic said. “I am also staying because I plan on working toward the Gold Award, as it will open up a lot of scholarship opportunities.” 

Smodic is planning to begin working toward her Gold Award toward the end of this school year.

“For the Silver Award, we could work with people in our troop, which right now was me and Caitlyn. But for the Gold Award we have to do everything by ourselves, so I have been looking for ideas, but I don’t have certain plans yet,” Smodic said. 

Campbell is also going to be working toward getting her Gold Award. 

“For my Gold Award, I am planning on doing a “take a book, leave a book” project around the schools in our area,” Campbell said. 

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About the Contributors
Asmita Pokharel, Entertainment Editor
Entertainment Editor Asmita Pokharel is a senior and a third-year member of the Purbalite. In her free time, she likes to spend time with her friends, go on walks, and watch soccer.
Tumi Ojo, Entertainment Editor
Entertainment Editor Tumi Ojo is a senior and a fourth-year member of the Purbalite. She can be found talking with friends, drawing, listening to music, or napping.
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