By Jennifer simms 

Girl Scouts Partner with Greenwood


April 28, 2017

Girl Scout Troop 179 is on a journey to Get Moving. The eleven Heatherwood Elementary fourth graders of Troop 179 have spent the school year exploring the theme of movement and energy through an intensive, collaborative study called a journey.

“We’re learning about all types of energy,” troop leader Nancy Renken said of the project, which requires more in-depth study than a typical girl scout badge. “One part of the journey was animal energy. Observing animals in nature is a little tricky so I reached out to Greenwood [Wildlife Rehabilitation Center] and they agreed to do a program for us.”

Greenwood education outreach volunteer Mary Jo Lakhal visited the scout troop in November and did a seminar for the girls focused on animal energy. In return, the center asked the scout troop if they would do a project or make a donation to help their animal patients. “At first we thought we might do something like squirrel hammocks,” Renken said.

But Lakhal was so impressed with the scouts that she and animal care coordinator Lea Peshock decided to invite the troop to help with several on-site projects. Since Greenwood doesn’t typically bring groups to the facility, to minimize the animals’ contact with humans, the troop felt honored by the opportunity.

On Saturday, April 8, the girls and their parents spent several hours at Greenwood’s facility in Longmont remodeling two flight cages, large enclosures where recovering birds can practice flying, and updating one squirrel habitat.

“They drilled holes through branches, and put hooks in the ceiling to change position of all the perches,” Peshock explained.”They hung eye hooks so we could do the same thing in the squirrel condo.” The girls also built a climbing wall for the squirrels by attaching wood and branches to a sheet of plywood. “It is the first time some of [the girls] got to use clippers and drills,” Renken said.

The girls in the troop were proud of their work at Greenwood. “We actually got to work and help the animals and build things,” troop member Annali Langenegger said. “We got to do what adults usually do.”

“I liked that we got to hang up branches for the birds and help animals if they’re sick to get better,” Lily Sabanosh added.

Troop 179 would like to thank their families as well as the Wild Bird Center in Boulder for donating supplies for the project, and the troop members look forward to visiting the center again in July to see the facility in full swing and the animals benefiting from their work.

“Community service has been a huge part of what this troupe does. We were so glad they were willing to take a chance on us,” Renken said of her troop’s experience at Greenwood.

“Working with Girl Scouts is always such a joy,” said Peshock, who was Girl Scout leader herself. “They ask good questions, and they listen well. I hope to do more with the scouts.”


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