Girl Scouts turn 300 pounds of bottle caps into playground buddy benches

  • Members of Girl Scout troops 2377 and 134 with the Menominee Service Unit of Girl Scouts Northern Illinois collected 300 pounds of plastic caps to make two buddy benches that were installed at two area playgrounds.

    Members of Girl Scout troops 2377 and 134 with the Menominee Service Unit of Girl Scouts Northern Illinois collected 300 pounds of plastic caps to make two buddy benches that were installed at two area playgrounds. Courtesy of Kelly Bays

  • The scouts collected 300 pounds of bottle caps, well above their goal of 250 pounds.

    The scouts collected 300 pounds of bottle caps, well above their goal of 250 pounds. Courtesy of Kelly Bays

 
 
Updated 5/10/2021 6:41 AM

A group of Girl Scouts in Lake and McHenry counties would like to see everyone having fun on the playground. And their recent service project is doing just that.

Over the past two years, 32 girls have collected over 300 pounds of plastic bottle caps to make buddy benches. The benches are used to include all children during playtime. A child can sit on a bench letting others know they need someone to play with. The Scouts used cookie sales money to have the caps made into two benches by Green Tree Plastics in Evansville, Indiana.

 
Girl Scout troops 2377 and 134 show off the buddy bench installed at Converse Park in Island Lake.
Girl Scout troops 2377 and 134 show off the buddy bench installed at Converse Park in Island Lake. - Courtesy of Kristin Kessler

Members of Girl Scout Troop 2377 and Troop 134 with the Menominee Service Unit of Girl Scouts Northern Illinois attend first through third grades in the Wauconda and McHenry school districts. Kelly Bays, Kristin Kessler and Erin Fowler are the leaders.

Last month, a six-foot bench was installed and dedicated at Converse Park in Island Lake. The other, a four-foot bench, was dedicated at Fort McHenry Park in McHenry.

A buddy bench donated by Girl Scout troops 2377 and 134 at a local park.
A buddy bench donated by Girl Scout troops 2377 and 134 at a local park. - Courtesy of Kelly Bays
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"The buddy bench was a tangible way for us to share the Girl Scout law with our community," Bays said. "The Girl Scouts were able to use resources wisely, make the world a better place, be friendly and helpful, caring and considerate and be a sister to every Girl Scout as two troops worked together to do this project."

Girl Scouts want to be kind to each other, Bays added, and the benches give them opportunities to show that kindness.

Members of Girl Scout troops 2377 and 134 are all smiles after the dedication of a buddy bench at Fort McHenry Park in McHenry.
Members of Girl Scout troops 2377 and 134 are all smiles after the dedication of a buddy bench at Fort McHenry Park in McHenry. - Courtesy of Kelly Bays

The Scouts earned their Take Action award for the benches, which was just one of many community outreach projects for the girls. Others include food drives, working with nursing homes, painting kindness rocks, making goody bags for nurses and sending military care packages.

"These girls have been so excited about this project. They are excited to encourage others to make new friends and keep the old, in true Girl Scout fashion," Bays said. "And they love that the benches are rainbow colored."

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