By Liz Nolan, Contributing Writer
NORTHBOROUGH – After 180 hours of project work, the nine members of Northborough Girl Scout Troop 64736 recently completed their Bronze Award. Through the culmination of cookie sales and a 5K fundraiser, the troop raised $1,000 to bring awareness and support to the group Abby’s House in Worcester.
Abby’s House is a non-profit organization, which provides shelter and affordable housing, as well as advocacy and support services to homeless, battered and low-income women with or without children.
The Bronze Award is the highest honor a Junior Girl Scout can earn. The girls opted to support women and children in need and, after doing research, chose Abby’s House as the recipient of their fundraising proceeds.
“The project’s objective must be to benefit the local community and/or benefit Girl Scouting as a whole in some way,” Troop Leader Meghan Soens explained of Bronze Award project qualifications. “Each scout is expected to contribute 20 hours to the project.”
In addition to Soens, the troop is led by Leslie Homzie Campbell.
The troop is comprised of 10 and 11-year-olds from Marguerite E. Peaslee School, Lincoln Street School, Marion E. Zeh School and St. Bernadette School. Members are Alaia Phillips, AJ Soens, Clara Reade, Clara Campbell, Jane Campbell, Leona Azar, Samone Tromblay, Sarah Campbell and Yasahmin Rowe.
Soens said it has been beneficial to have girls from different elementary schools in the troop.
“It’s been nice to have a connection that is broader than the elementary school they attend,” she said.
Fundraising during a pandemic, though, had its challenges.
Soens said the Troop was one of only two that decided to sell cookies this year.
“The girls love selling cookies,” she said. “They decided to forgo prizes and chose to donate all proceeds from sales to Abby’s House.”
The troop sold 1,008 boxes of cookies and raised $700.
The Troop also planned a virtual 5K race to raise additional funds. Participants had the option to run, bike or either walk 3.1 miles on their own or to do three socially distant laps around Northborough’s Little Pond Road neighborhood.
The girls worked on everything from creating the event logo to designing an informational flyer to making the race bibs. They hand painted mugs to sell as well.
The event had only 20 participants, but it raised $300, and the girls were proud of the overall process.
“The project is not only about the impact it makes on the community, but about skill-building – setting goals, planning, marketing, communication,” Soens said.
The money raised, along with items such as cleaning products, new pillows, and paper towels, will be donated directly to Abby’s House in June.
Although the Troop may have completed its project, its effort to make an impact in the community is not over.
“Six girls committed to stay on for next year as they head into middle school,” said Soens.
In the meantime, though, the girls will take a break over the summer and attend Girl Scouts’ overnight camp, something they were unable to do last summer.