A few local Girl Scouts took the needed steps to earn a Silver Award. Charlotte Thomas, from Girl Scout Troop #3633, said she saw that the Van Alstyne Library children’s section needed some TLC. Thomas enlisted the help of two other troop members, Easley Smith and Savannah Pontious.


“I wanted to help get the children’s section redone, and asked Easley and Savannah to help me,” Thomas said. “I figured we could get it down faster together, as a project.”


Girl Scouts have three levels of awards that can be achieved by troops: bronze, silver and gold.


The Bronze Award can be achieved by a Girl Scout junior in the fourth or fifth grade. The Silver Award is available to a Girl Scout Cadet in middle school who completes a journey and 50 volunteer hours as a group. A Girl Scout attending high school who achieves at least 100 volunteer hours individually can be awarded the Gold Award.


To complete a Journey, a girl scout must identify a problem and create a plan to fix the issue. Once the plan is created, the girl will create a team and put the plan into motion. There are three themes to choose from: “It’s your world — change it,” “It’s your planet — love it” and “It’s your story — tell it.”


Last year, the girls reached the Bronze Award by starting a light bulb recycling program. “We reached out to the middle school and elementary school, and had them save the fluorescent lights for us to recycle,” Smith said. “The bulbs contain mercury, which could prove dangerous to the environment.”


For the recent Silver Award, the girls painted a counter and refinished the counter top. They also brought in two bookcases to help finish off the small reading nook in the children’s section. Thomas said she was glad to be a part of the remodeling. “I think it’s great that we’re helping the community and making it a kid friendly place — a place where the kids can come in and enjoy it,” said Thomas.


Judy Kinzey, Director of the Van Alstyne Library, said she is very pleased with how the whole thing happened. “The girls approached us at the perfect time as redecorating the children’s area was at the top of our list of things to do,” she stated. “The area they adopted for their project was in desperate need of attention.”


Kinzey also said she likes the girls’ love for the community and desire to give back to the library. “It was a pleasure watching their creative minds at work as they developed their plan,” Kinzey said. “A better example of ‘community spirit’ is hard to find. The girls have been patrons for years and I am touched that they chose to return to our library to invest their time and effort.”