Benefiting the Community
It was a warm May afternoon and the girls from Troop 317 were working hard in the garden. After they finished planting tomatoes, they made sure the plants had plenty of water to grow in the hot Sacramento sun.
This wasn’t an ordinary backyard garden, but one planted at the FOX40 News TV station that will supply fresh vegetables to a local women’s center.
“It was fun to plant the garden and give back to the community,” said 11-year-old Julia, a member of Troop 317 who worked on the project. “I also liked being on TV and seeing how they broadcast the news.”
Julia and other members of her troop worked with Kristina Werner, chief meteorologist at FOX40 News, to plant the garden. They were featured on a TV newscast, and shared tips they learned while earning the Girl Scout Gardener badge at the Oak Park Sol community garden earlier in the year.
“I wanted the girls to earn the Gardener badge because it’s important for them to learn where their food comes from,” said Lynda Kehoe, leader of Troop 317. “Gardening is something that anyone can do, and I wanted them to get their hands dirty and learn how to grow their own food. It was also a good way for them to learn about community gardens, and see how people can come together and create something that benefits everyone.”
In August, the troop will harvest the tomatoes they planted at the station and deliver them to the Wellspring Women’s Center, which provides free counseling, enrichment classes and social services to women and children in Sacramento.
“I’m excited to go back and harvest the tomatoes,” said Julia, who has been a Girl Scout for six years. “Our troop worked well together.”
Working on this garden project has been an invaluable service opportunity for the troop.
“As the girls get older, I hope they can do more in the community,” Lynda said. “This was a memorable experience. They may not remember the details of earning a certain badge, but they’ll remember how it feels to work as a team and help others.”
In addition to learning about gardening, the girls have learned other skills that will help them later in life.
“Girl Scouts is very empowering,” Lynda said. “The girls have learned leadership skills and how to work together to accomplish goals. They also learned how to respect each other and get along with people who are different than they are. These are valuable skills that they’ll need throughout their lives.”