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Madawaska Girl Scouts install new bench in Bicentennial Park

MADAWASKA, Maine — Donations from several local businesses recently helped members of Girl Scout Troop 161 to construct and install a new bench in Bicentennial Park as part of their junior bronze award project.

The girls have worked on the project since April, according to one of the troop leaders, Jean Pelletier Thomas.

The guidelines and process for the bronze award emphasized planning, leadership, and having the girls determine where the community could most benefit from their help. Thomas said when the troop members planned the project, they had to make their team, explore their community, come up with a plan of action, and then put the project in motion.

“They worked very well as a team, I was amazed because they did have arguments,” Thomas said Thursday. “But they worked it out very well and listened to each other’s opinions.”

Troop members Peyton McKinley, Samantha Thomas, Dinesha Sirois, Zoe Rioux, and Ainsley Migneault were all awarded the bronze award for their efforts. They were assisted by fellow Scouts Adelaide Shelton, Lily Grant, and Emily Sprague.

Once the Scouts determined what project to do, team members had to write a note to local businesses asking for donations.The project did not cost the troop anything since all the materials and time were donated by local businesses, including Central Building, Trombley Concrete, and Voisine Cedar Mill.

Dave Pelletier planned out the bench, and made the youngsters understand how to measure parts and build the wooden bench, and taught them everything they needed to know, according to Thomas.

“It was amazing to see these girls listen to him,” she said.

Building the bench took about eight hours, but overall, each girl worked a total of 20 hours on the project.

Kevin Dube helped them with mixing of cement for a base and installation of the bench on that foundation. When the troop met with Dube, he told them that a bench in the park had rotted out, according to Thomas. So the girls chose to replace it.

“Anytime we can help out an organization, we’re always willing to help out,” Dube said. “It’s good to interact with stuff like that.”

The new bench is located in Bicentennial Park near the pavilion.

“[The girls] wanted to make sure that moms, dads, grandparents and kids could sit at the park and enjoy the music and playing,” Thomas said.

Follow Morgan Mitchell on Twitter @TheMaineMorgan

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