Diane Peltz – Contributing Writer
Being a Girl Scout is not all fun and games. Being a Girl Scout can mean many things: fun, friends, new challenges, exploring, helping others, making others happy, discovering new things about themselves, trusting in themselves and others, and knowing they can make the world a better place. For the Cadet Scouts in Troop 2996, here in Franklin, being a Girl Scout is embarking on a journey to attain their Silver Award. The girls in Troop 2996 want to make the world a better place, and that is the premise of the Silver Award Project.
A Silver Award is different than the Bronze Award that Juniors can earn. In order to earn a Bronze Award a girl must take part in a “Service Project.” Some service projects include making first aid kits, holding a food drive, donating items to a local shelter or donating books to a local school.
The Silver Award must be a “Take Action Project.” A take action project is a chance for girls to partner with others in their community to solve a problem. They learn about getting to the root cause of issues, mobilizing and engaging community members and volunteers, and striving toward creating lasting change in their world. An important component is to understand and address the cause of the problem. This project must be measurable in that the success of the project can be determined based on the number of people the project helped, the number of people who were involved and any reduction in the community’s need and other concrete numbers. It must also be sustainable. Girls must make arrangements (such as collaborating with community leaders and/or organizations; building alliances with mentors) to ensure that the project creates lasting change and is not a one-time event.
The Ukrainian Sunflower Project, does just that.
Ukrainian Sunflower Project
This project involves writing a letter or note card to the Ukrainian people to tell them that they are not alone. The letter will let them know that we, the people of the United States are praying for them and are in solidarity with them. It might be a small gesture but it can go a long way, in making someone who is going through such an awful time, feel a light of hope in a dark situation. The project does not end with just a letter. In a world of high tech, this letter can establish a life-long pen pal with whom can be kept in touch via phone, texting, internet, email, Skype, social media and more.
The project goes even further for the Cadets. Each Cadet will be hand-painting wooden earrings depicting a sunflower, the national flower of Ukraine. Each person who writes a card can also take part in purchasing a set of earrings, one for themselves and one that will go to their pen pal in Ukraine. Each pair of earrings will have a number on the back that will correspond with the number on the ones they send with the letter. When the person in Ukraine receives them, they will automatically feel a kinship with their friend in America. The earrings will cost only $10 for both pair and the money will be used for postage to send the letters and for donations for the Ukrainian people.
The troop hopes to get 100 folks in Franklin to take part in this project.
People that would like to be part of the “Ukrainian Sunflower Project” may call the troop leader at (828)371-2823 or text a message to firstname.lastname@example.org to make arrangements to get the earrings. The Girls of Troop 2996 are looking forward to having many participants as part of their Silver Award Project.