Left Hand Valley Courier - All Local, All The Time

By Jesse Murphy

Girl Scouts help reservation school


Photo by Julie Dye From left, Girl Scouts Stella Wilkinson, Brenna Dye and Ainsley Dye help load up a trailer to drop off the donations at the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation as part of their Bronze Award service project.

Girl Scout Troop 3010 recently completed a drive that grew bigger than expected for its Bronze Award project.

Troop Leader Julie Dye of Gunbarrel said that the award is for scouts at the Junior Level, and that students at the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation have always been on their radar for a future project.

“The Troop has been fascinated by building this year, with robotics and tinkering and designing,” Dye said. “The project we came up with for their bronze award was to create tinker/maker kits for other children.”

The Wounded Knee District School serves close to 200 students, and all of them qualify for free breakfast and lunch (not just reduced, according to Friends of Pine Ridge Reservation).

Scouts set off to make kits for the different age groups. The students in pre-k through fourth grade got school supply kits, fifth- and sixth-graders received wood builder kits and seventh- and eighth-graders got robotics kits.

Donations came from all over the area, and they came quickly, Dye said. A big part of the items were either purchased with funds raised by the scouts or donated by Hypars — a Longmont-based company that makes toys focusing on STEM education.

“They really came through, not only by donating some STEM products for the older kids, but also in raising some money and donating sanitary supplies,” Dye said. “What I found out was that a lot of teenage girls don’t go to school each month because they can’t afford (hygiene products). The group at Hypars really stepped up and made a donation.”

Another group came into the mix when Dye posted on Facebook asking friends to donate $1 to help purchase blankets.

With those monies, she came into contact with Boulder Area Moms, who typically make and donate blankets. Dye said that it gets really cold on the reservation with little reprieve for the families there, and that suicide rates are well above the national average.

“Not just our Boulder/Longmont way of being chilled for a moment,” Dye said, “they’re fundamentally cold. So within that day we had raised $200. Instead of telling me where to buy blankets, they donated them.”

There were roughly 200 larger scale items purchased including comforters, school supplies, sanitary supplies and many other items.

Her coworkers at Cultural Care Au Pair in Denver also stepped in.

Photo by Julie Dye An example of some of the kits sent from Girl Scout Troop 3010 to students at the Wounded Knee District School on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. The kits included STEM educational toys and other items.

“For a lot of my colleagues, they had never heard of Pine Ridge,” Dye said. “For them to come together and support the children in an area that is five hours from us was very powerful.”

Eight scouts and three moms rented a U-Haul trailer and made the trip a few weeks ago to deliver the items.

“What was so interesting is that we have really been preparing these girls for this significant emotional experience,” Dye said. “I said to them, we are not doing this for a thank you. We are here in service of these children. They don’t have to say thank you, we are doing this to give.

“What ended up happening is that the school was so gracious and so welcoming that the girls had an amazing experience.”

Dye said that the troop plans on returning to the reservation this fall with another service project for the school.


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