Family members gathered at the parking lot of the Chagrin Falls Park Community Center in Bainbridge last Sunday as Girl Scout Troop No. 70852 held their dedication ceremony to present the product of their Silver Award project.
After a year of planning, fundraising, gathering supplies and building, nine Kenston Local School eighth-grade scouts – Ashley Slates, Charlotte Witmer-Rich, Emma Robertson, Lindsey Myshrall, Lisa Markoff, Madison Pastor, Sabrina Schultz, Samantha Sunderhaft and Sophie Voudris – presented the community center with a new 10-by-12-foot storage shed in addition to renovating the center’s original shed.
Troop co-leader Betsy Myshrall explained that the community center had run out of storage for supplies and equipment, including donations that would go to families in need, so the girls decided to build a new shed for the park.
To commemorate this project, the troop held a ceremony to officially give the sheds over to the park where Emma, Lindsey and Madison served as color guard, and the other members gave their remarks and thanks for parent, volunteer and community support through their efforts.
The girls spent two consecutive weekends in September to build the shed. Troop co-leader Betsy Myshrall said troop members persevered under direct sun and heat to complete the projects.
By the time both were complete, size alone could distinguish which shed was new and which was renovated because of a job well done, said Helyne Walker, supportive service coordinator of the Chagrin Falls Park Community Center.
“This is an incredible thing that you have done,” Ms. Walker said to the scouts before the conclusion of their ceremony. “And we so appreciate it.”
She said had it not been for the construction of the new shed, the center would have had to turn away donations of cribs and dressers with nowhere to put them. Because they now had the space, the center was able to properly store the items until they could be given to local families that needed them.
The troop members will still have to make a presentation for World Thinking Day in February before they officially receive their Silver Awards, Charlotte explained. Some of the troop members will put together a slideshow of photos and videos to showcase the process of renovating the center’s original shed and building the new storage shed.
All nine members of the troop worked together to build the shed, but each member was also responsible for separate parts of preparing for the project such as reaching out to different companies for supplies and raising funds.
The girls agreed together that they were proud of what they had done for the center and said they learned valuable skills along with the project.
“It feels good to get the project done knowing that we’re helping the community and that it’s going to be a lasting project,” Samantha said. She added that it’s good to know that the shed is something that can be used frequently by the community center.
Charlotte added that in building the shed, the girls gained building experience and learned about the work that comes with coordinating long-term projects.
“We got a lot of building experience,” she said. “It’s kind of crazy that it’s over because we’ve been working on this for so long, and we’ve had so many planning meetings. I remember when we first saw the notes, I was like, ‘Is this really going to work?’ But there’s a great looking shed out there.”
Bob Johnson, Emma’s grandfather, said he was “amazed that they would build a shed” when he found out that was the project they wanted to tackle. He joked that some of the girls he knew have never used a hammer before building the shed, “but sure enough, they were pounding nails and putting shingles on.
“It was quite a transformation,” he added about seeing the girls’ hard work come to fruition.