Skip to main content

Draper Journal

Local Girl Scouts brighten U.S. map for school community

Aug 05, 2019 04:07PM ● By Julie Slama

Girl Scout troop 530 spent the day painting the United States map on Willow Springs playground so it would be brightened up for fall. Not pictured: Eliza Hanson, Ellie Schreiber and Ellie Turner. (Julie Slama/City Journals)

By Julie Slama | [email protected]

This fall, Willow Springs school children will be able to play on a freshly painted United States map on their playground, thanks to one of their former classmates.

When fifth-grader Annika Johnston saw that the U.S. map painted on her school playground had dulled, she turned to her Girl Scout troop.

“I saw it was faded and we could brighten up the color,” she said.

The eight members of the Girl Scout junior troop 530 voted to improve Willow Springs Elementary’s map as their project to earn their Girl Scout Bronze Award.

The Bronze Award project is a girl-led project that is completed by a group of Junior Girl Scouts, in the upper years of elementary school. The project’s object is to benefit the community and requires at least 20 hours per Scout toward the project. It is the third highest award in Girl Scouting.

This troop, which already had completed all the prerequisites for the Bronze, began early with their planning in January. 

They met with Canyons School District Superintendent Jim Briscoe, who supported their efforts and worked with maintenance coordinator Bob Ellis to acquire the needed Waterbourne traffic paint.

“The girls planned what they needed — gloves, brushes, rollers and how much time it would need to dry,” troop leader Terri Francis said. “I was impressed that they thought of everything.”

They also met with Principal Marianne Yule, who also has supported Girl Scouts through their cookie sales.

“I’m excited to see the Girl Scouts refreshing our map,” she said. “I’m really proud of these girls. They talked to the superintendent who granted their initiative to make it look good again. The map is a favorite place where siblings meet at the end of school; kids stand on the states they’ve visited.”

However, even their best-made plans got side-tracked. With two weather delays this wet spring, the girls scheduled a third date — the day after school got out on June 7 — and set to work, painting.

“It’s a good idea to paint it,” troop member Katelyn Bush said, who added she’s excited to earn her Bronze.

Her friend Allyson Keife said the service they were providing is just one of many the troop has recently performed. She liked helping clean up the community.

Troop member Chloe Francis said she liked helping at the Utah Food Bank.

“I like being able to help people and being able to make things better,” she said, adding that she would like to continue to earn her Silver and Gold Awards in Girl Scouting.

The top award in Girl Scouting is the Gold Award, which can be earned by girls who are in high school. After the prerequisites are met, the project has to be approved by the council must help the community and be sustainable. Girls individually spend at least 80 hours in planning and carrying out the project. 

The Silver Award is an honor this troop can begin working toward this fall. After prerequisites are met, the Silver project can be completed by middle school girls individually or in a small group, who individually contribute at least 50 hours to the girl-led project. 

Junior Quincee Hamilton said she appreciated working together to improve the map.

“My favorite to paint has been Oregon because it was the hardest,” she said. “I like seeing all the dull colors brighten and making it prettier for the kids this fall. I really like working with my best friends to make things better.”