By Melanie Petrucci, Senior Community Reporter
SHREWSBURY – When Shrewsbury Girl Scout Troop 11087 was looking for an idea for their Bronze Award project, they took inspiration from the “Little Library” movement. They then gave the idea a twist.
“Why not build a ‘Puzzle Exchange?’” they asked.
The troop, under the leadership of Patricia Minton, includes Navyaa Shakthi Ravi, Sari Grenier, Celia Marichal, Preethi Shivashankar, Lilly Palumbo, and Melina Lam. Most of the members are fifth-grade students at Sherwood Middle School in Shrewsbury. One attends the Worcester Arts Magnet School.
Navyaa shared that once they agreed on the puzzle exchange idea, the project needed a name. Suggestions included the “Puzzle Hub” and the “Mini-Puzzle Library.”
“One of the options was ‘Bits and Puzzles,’ another was ‘Bits and Pieces,’ ‘Raincheck’ and ‘Mini-House of Mind-Bending’” Marichal added in a recent interview.
As of last month, the girls had not yet decided on what type of structure to build. Regardless, Palumbo and Grenier’s dads will oversee the building process.
Initial structure ideas included adapting an old newspaper box or an old Blockbuster return box as well as building a box from scratch.
In search of a permanent location, Minton said last month that the troop had asked Shrewsbury Parks & Recreation if they could place their exchange on the field across the street from the Shrewsbury Electric Light and Cable plant on Municipal Drive.
“The girls thought this would be a great place to have it because it’s close to a school and playground,” she said.
Meanwhile, the troop has put together a temporary exchange at Claytime pottery in Shrewsbury.
Claytime Manager Molly Gonet recently said she viewed the effort as a cute idea, adding that she was happy to host the exchange until a permanent structure could end up in place.
The troop hopes to have their “Puzzle Exchange” up and running by late spring. For more information or to donate puzzles, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.