Wellspring is grateful to Girl Scout Troop 82716 of Gloucester for incorporating Wellspring into their powerful journey towards earning the Bronze Award – the highest award a Junior Girl Scout (girls in 4th and 5th grade) can earn.

To qualify for the award, the girls needed to first complete a Junior Girl Scout Journey – a long-term exploration of one topic or theme. In this journey, the girls used theater and storytelling to explore the roles and stereotypes that exist for girls and women. They identified roles they play in their own lives, roles adult women play in their home, school, and community, and “tried on” different roles by acting out scenes and reading stories. They learned about female leadership, explored stereotypes of boys and girls in the media, and finished the journey by writing and acting in skits where they “busted” stereotypes about girls and women.

With the journey complete, the girls turned their focus to begin their Bronze Award project.  First, the girls did some research to identify different community needs within Gloucester. They then brainstormed and narrowed it down to project that supported women and children.

The girls chose to support Wellspring House through their project, and reached out to Mary Hardwick to identify a specific way they could help. Creating Hygiene backpacks was something that resonated. Because of COVID, it was clear from the beginning the project would need to be designed in a way that didn’t require the girls to interact outside of their home and school social bubbles.

The girls organized a drive, by reaching out to Principal Jewett at Plum Cove School, and Principal Pasquarello at East Gloucester School. They asked if they could set up donation boxes within the schools. Both principals kindly agreed.

The girls then put a request for donations in the school-to-home newsletters, and nervously made announcements over the loudspeaker at school. Requests for donations were also posted on some social media platforms.

Donations came pouring in – enough to make 23 full bags for women, and 10 bags for children. Troop funds, earned by selling girl scout cookies, were used to purchase any final products to make sure each hygiene backpack was complete.

The girls then worked to sort and assemble the bags – all done outdoors and socially distanced – which presented logistical challenges!

With the backpacks assembled and delivered to Wellspring, the girls will now turn their attention to the final step of their project, which is to continue educating the community about all the work the Wellspring House does in our community. They plan to make an educational flyer to be posted at community bulletin boards. After the final step, they will submit their project to Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts, who will ultimately determine if they met all of the guidelines and requirements, and grant them with their Bronze Award.

Best of luck Troop 82716! We are so appreciative of your work and so proud to share this wonderful community with you!

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