After the pandemic struck, fifteen young women from Girl Scout Troop 65430 in Highlands Ranch, Colo, had no idea how to make personal protective equipment for teachers and students.
But they held on to their dreams.
Emma Bangertner, 10, tells Yahoo Life, “My troop and I came up with the idea because we had a Zoom meeting with our principal, Ms. Milley. We needed things to create a safer environment for Wildcat Mountain Elementary School staff and students.”
She continued, “We didn’t exactly think of it right away, but we needed things to ease the tension for going back to school for everyone. We landed on making masks, mask lanyards, and sneeze guards.”
The scouts watched videos online to learn how to construct the PPE. But first, they needed funds.
As a girl-led organization, each troop is free to decide what to do with the funds they raise through cookie sales.
They began shopping when they realized to use some of the money they had raised for classroom PPE.
Bangertner said, “It was an excellent experience. I learned how to help my community, but I also learned to become a better leader and use a drill. She has been a Girl Scout for six years and aspires to become a naval aviator.”
The school has already resumed at the troop’s school, albeit on a reduced schedule. However, Troop 65430’s PPE is already in use.
Bangertner says, “Ms. Milley, our principal, was so proud and happy we had made a difference in our community that she cried.”
Their success in making PPE earned them the Girl Scout Bronze Award, the highest award for Girl Scouts in 4th or 5th grade.
The troop must solve a problem in their community and spend 20 hours on the project to qualify.
Randi Bangertner, Emma’s mother, says, “I’m so incredibly proud of these girls. They really stepped up and made a difference, and the amount of leadership they have exhibited in the last couple of months has just been inspirational.
She continued, “I think the best part of this project was seeing how well they came together and worked as a team.”