Friday, May 15, 2020

Gold Award Spotlight: The Buddy Builder

As Girl Scouts, we know you can’t ever have too many friends. Having friends in school helps ease stress and makes time spent more enjoyable. When kids are confident and comfortable they will have a better experience at school and may have an easier time learning. Unfortunately, for some children, it can be hard to find a friend whether they are shy or maybe just recently moved to a new place. 

Girl Scout Ambassador Sophia earned her Gold Award by creating a way for kids in her community to more easily make a new friend through her Gold Award project “The Buddy Builder” by making Buddy Benches. Buddy Benches are colorful benches placed at parks or playgrounds. The benches have a special meaning. When someone is on the Buddy Bench, that indicates that they are looking for a friend to play with. 

Sophia crafted the Buddy Benches from wood by hand with the help of her family and painted them with bright colors in animal themes that would appeal to elementary aged kids. She placed the colorful, inviting benches at four local elementary schools. 

Sophia wrote and illustrated a book to go along with each bench for the schools she worked with. Sophia had two copies of her book made for each school library. After placing the benches on each school’s playground, Sophia went to several classes of all different ages to read her book and explain what the bench means. 

“There are three rules for using the bench,” Sophia said. “If you see someone sitting on the bench, invite them to play. If you are sitting on the bench, say yes to the first person that asks you to play. Don’t forget, the bench is for kindness only.” 

Sophia hopes her benches make it easy for children to identify someone who might be in need of some kindness and to learn how to have the confidence to ask someone to be your friend. 

Congratulations, Sophia!