Medford Girl Scouts honored the memory of those who served by reciting the Pledge of Allegiance at the city’s Memorial Day Ceremony on May 31, 2021 at Oak Grove Cemetery. Thanks to all the girls and their families who participated.
We are eighth graders in Girl Scout Troop 68137 from Medford working on our Silver Award project. The Silver Award is a leadership award, centered around tackling an issue in your community, and is the highest honor a Cadette can achieve. Girls seeking the Silver Award need to identify an issue in their community, choose a project that helps address that issue, and complete a minimum of 50 hours of work towards their project. For our Silver Award project, we are partnering with the City of Medford and Trees Medford to roll out an adopt-a-tree program in Medford as well as educate the community about the importance of trees.
Medford’s Urban Canopy is Shrinking
The urban canopy in Medford is shrinking. While the city is trying to rebuild the canopy by planting new trees along streets and in parks, it doesn’t have the resources to water all of the new trees it plants. A newly planted tree requires 10-14 gallons of water per week from May through October in order to survive and thrive in its first three years. Without sufficient water, newly planted trees in Medford will struggle to establish their root systems and may die.
Why are Urban Trees Important?
Building a healthy urban canopy is important for many reasons. Urban trees help cities adapt to climate change. In the summer, trees shade and cool the air around buildings, reducing dependence on air conditioning. In the winter, trees help reduce wind speeds and keep nearby buildings warmer. Trees remove greenhouse gases, like carbon dioxide, from the air and replenish it with oxygen for us to breathe. Trees also provide many health benefits, improving air quality by capturing dust and pollution particles from dirty city air that can affect human health. Trees bring natural elements and wildlife into urban environments, increasing the quality of life for residents. The more trees and grass in the common spaces of city neighborhoods, the more those spaces are used by residents. This results in more social activities, more knowledge about neighbors, stronger feelings of belonging and the kind of positive social ties that are the very fabric of a healthy neighborhood. Studies have even shown that hospital patients recover from surgery more quickly and require less pain medication when their room has a window that provides a view of trees!
The Adopt-a-Tree Program
The goal of Medford’s adopt-a-tree program is to help ensure that newly-planted city trees in Medford survive and thrive. Through the program, a volunteer pledges to water a tree during its first three years of life so it can grow into a healthy, mature tree.
To promote the new adopt-a-tree program, our team designed a web page on the TreesMedford site detailing the program and providing a webform to sign up to adopt a tree. We created an online map of all trees planted in Medford between 2017 and 2020 to help potential volunteers identify trees near them that are in need of water. We developed an educational workshop about the benefits of trees, and presented to several Girl Scout troops in Medford. We tagged dozens of newly-planted trees with “A New Tree Needs Water” tags encouraging neighbors to adopt the tree. We designed and printed a “This Tree Has Been Adopted” tag and have tagged all of the trees that have already been adopted. We are now working to advertise the Adopt-a-Tree program more broadly and recruit volunteers through flyers and social media.
How You Can Help
If you would like to support our project, and in turn support the environment, we would appreciate if you could adopt a tree! As a volunteer, you would nurture your tree by providing 10 -14 gallons of water each week between the months of May and October. Visit the TreesMedford Adopt-a-Tree page to learn more about the program, see the map of trees needing adoption, and sign-up to water a tree.
Thank you for your support! Claire, Ciara & Merbens – Troop 68137
The community group, Trees Medford, welcomes Girl Scout families and troops to care for newly planted trees by adopting a tree to water. The City of Medford waters new trees for one year but, after that, trees are on their own. Trees Medford is focused on the list of trees planted in 2017 and 2018 which may need some additional watering to survive and thrive.
BONUS: Adopting a tree to water is a fantastic way for Cadettes to work on the Trees badge. Step 5 is “help trees thrive.”
To let them know your family or troop plans to adopt a tree, email Trees Medford at TreesMedford@gmail.com
Trees that need watering may also have a tag attached and they should all have gator bags attached that can be filled with hoses, watering cans or jugs. Each one holds 12 gallons and the goal is to water them through October. If there is a tree anyone find that doesn’t have a bag, let Trees Medford know and they will supply them. They recently replaced gator bags on a number of new trees particularly on Governors, Century Street Extension, Auburn Street, and Hastings Park.
You can learn more about Trees Medford at:
Members of Girl Scouts Junior Troop 67712 and Cadette Troop 72102 from the Brooks School, Andrews Middle School and McGlynn Middle School, all in Medford, Massachusetts, honored the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and learned about the Civil Rights Movement during an overnight winter lodge camping experience on Sunday, January 19 – Monday, January 20, 2020. Troop leaders Tracy Keene, Diane Cervati, Patricia Wheeler, Veronica Hunt and Paul Ruseau, also a member of the Medford School Committee, organized this troop outing at the GSEMA Camp Runels in Pelham, New Hampshire as a learning and service experience.
Troop 67712 co-leader Tracy Keene said, “We thought it was very important for our girls to learn about civil rights during this weekend honoring King’s legacy. The girls worked on two civil rights badges, Four Little Girls and Civil Rights History. They also earned a Martin Luther King, Jr. patch and patches for Winter Camping, Homeless Awareness, and Wildfire Relief.”
Boston University professor of political science and Medford resident Timothy Longman led the eighteen girls in a discussion on Sunday on civil rights. Professor Longman provided a history of slavery, Jim Crow and the civil rights movement. The girls listened to Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream Speech,” discussed prominent African American women, and learned about the September 15, 1963, bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama, that killed four girls. Carole Robertson, one of the girls killed, was an active Girl Scout.
The girls, ranging in age of 10-12 years old, also studied about segregation and civil rights in the Girls Scouts USA. Using material from the Girl Scouts Museum in Waltham, MA, the girls discovered disagreements over whether the first integrated troop in the US was the Red Rose Troop founded by Miss Emma Hall in New Bedford, MA, in 1913 – the third Girl Scout troop in the country – or a later troop in 1924. The girls were surprised to learn that even in Massachusetts, many troop remained racially segregated until the 1950s.
In addition to learning about civil rights, the troops participated in projects for the MLK Day of Service. They made pine cone bird feeders to hang around the snow-covered campsite. They also sorted and assembled care packages for the unhoused community. The troops are partnering with Ari Barbanell, Medford Resident and the Executive Director of the Winter Walk, to see that the care packages are distributed to members of our community who have found themselves without shelter during these winter months. Winter Walk is an initiative to raise funds and awareness about homelessness and will be held February 9 in Copley Square.
In addition, the girls made posters of encouragement and concern for the Girls Scouts and Girl Guides in New South Wales, Australia. The girls learned that at least 28 people have died in Australia and more than 3,000 homes have been destroyed or damaged in the state of New South Wales alone and that millions of wildlife have be impacted. The posters will be shared on the Facebook pages of Australian Girl Scouts and Girl Guides and mailed to their Council.
After the trip, Anna Shanley, said about her daughter, “Sofia still can’t stop talking about it and she really learned a lot of valuable lessons.”
Over 200 girls and adult volunteers from 18 different Medford Girl Scout troops came together at Camp Runels in Pelham, NH this past weekend for our first citywide encampment in nine years. Big thanks to Andie Farro and Evalyn O’Rourke for taking on the task of organizing everything as our Encampment Directors. It wouldn’t have happened without them!
During the day on Saturday troops from Daisies to Cadettes all had opportunity to go canoeing. In addition, each troop could pick from a variety of other activities including: geocaching, fire building (both real and edible), parachute games, gaga ball, or making recycled fashions, going on a scavenger hunt or a nature walk, or making pine cone bird feeders. All the troops came together for a campfire and s’mores and troops in the evening and troops that are Brownies and older had the option of staying overnight. The event opened and closed with a traditional Girl Scout flag ceremony and the weather couldn’t have been better!
Medford Girl Scouts deeply appreciates the special partnership it has with the Tufts Girls of Code. Founded in 2016 by Dr. Laney Strange, a professor in the Department of Computer Science at Tufts University, the group brings together female computer science students to hold hands-on coding workshops for girls. Their goal is to “create a welcoming environment for girls and other individuals who are frequently underrepresented in computer science.” The Tufts students are fantastic mentors who show Medford Girl Scouts that coding is fun and something everyone can do.
Held in the computer science labs at Tufts, the workshops are free and open to all girls ages 10 and older and, each year, the Tufts Girls of Code give priority registration to Medford Girl Scouts. Recent workshop topics have included:
- Programming games in the Python computer language
- Using the language Alice to create 3D animations
- Creating websites from scratch by coding in HTML and CSS
“It’s a really fun program to take because I’m learning a lot of new things that I can use later in life. Everyone that is teaching is patient and helps out when you need help with something.” – Cadence McPherson, Junior Girl Scout
““I really enjoyed it. They provided a positive environment and taught me things about coding that I hadn’t learned anywhere else. They made coding fun!” – Claire Gingo, Junior Girl Scout
Girls from the at least seven different Medford troops have jumped on the opportunity to attend the workshops. In addition to their general coding workshops, at the request of Medford Girl Scouts, the Tufts Girls of Code developed a special workshop just for Brownies who want to earn the Computer Expert badge. They held three Computer Expert workshops and each was filled to capacity. This was the first time the Tufts Girls of Code had led workshop for girls who were younger than 10 years old. The girls loved being in the lab, working on the computers, and seeing their work come alive on the screen.
“About half my troop participated in the Brownie Computer Expert workshop, and they all proudly showed their work at pickup time! It was such a gift to have this event. The young women leading it were great role models, and I think it is so important for our girls to see a wide range of leaders in addition to their own troop leader.” – Jane Hamel, Leader, Brownie Troop 72096
Tufts Girls of Code has a special mission to “spark engagement and interest in computer science.” They strive, and succeed, in creating a warm and welcoming environment in which all girls get to code their own creations, and then play the games, or watch the animations, that they bring to life through their code.
Thank you to Dr. Laney Strange and the Tufts Girls of Code for expanding Medford Girl Scouts interest in STEM and coding!
About the Award:
The Outstanding Service Unit Partner recognizes a partnership that is instrumental in expanding program at the Girl Scout Service Unit level. In Girl Scouts, a Service Unit is a team of volunteers who organize and support Girl Scout programming in a particular community or region (such as the City of Medford.) A program partner supporting a Service Unit has a direct impact on the local community which gives girls the tools they need to be successful leaders in today’s world, shows girls future career possibilities and supports one or more of the pillars of Girl Scouting (Entrepreneurship, STEM, Outdoors and Life Skills).
The award was presented to Dr. Laney Strange by Lu-Ann Souza (Manager, Program Partnerships & Member Benefits) and Jennifer Duczkowski (Director, Girl Program and Partnerships) at Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts’s first Program Partner Brunch on June 16, 2018 at Camp Cedar Hill.
Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts offers Girl Scouts and their families discounts to arts, cultural, and sports events in the area. Girls and their friends and families can attend any event on their own, or troops can arrange to go as a group.
Here are some of the upcoming member benefits:
- Disney on Ice – Follow Your Heart – Friday, Nov. 4 at the DCU Center in Worcester. Tickets for Girl Scouts and their family and friends are $17. Fun patch included. Click here for the flyer with details on how to order tickets.
- Kellogg’s Tour of Gymnastics Champions 2016 – Sunday, Nov. 13 at 7pm at the Boston Garden. Tickets for Girl Scouts and their family and friends are $25 and must be ordered by Oct. 30. The Scout tickets include a 2016 Kellogg’s Tour of Gymnastics Champions patch and Scouts can test their balance, flexibility, and strength at the Kellogg’s Fitness Zone on the concourse. Click here for the form to order tickets.
- Boston Holiday Pops – Saturday, Dec. 3 at 11 am and Sunday, December 4 at 11 am. Join conductor Keith Lockhart and the Boston Pops in a performance filled with holiday music favorites, the traditional Pops sing-a-long, and even a visit from jolly old Santa Claus! You can purchase a Boston Pops Girl Scout patch when you order your tickets. To purchase your tickets visit bostonpops.org/girlscouts
- Wachusett Mountain – Nov. 15, 2016 – April 15, 2017. Girl Scout discount for skiing and snowboarding tickets. Click here for the flyer
- Pats Peak – Girl Scouts get special discounts on tickets if purchased online in advance at employeeactivities.com/patspeak. Enter code: GSEM under Company/Program name. Also, Girl Scouts get 1 free ticket for every 15 purchased as a group (1 for every 10 on Scout Weekend March 4 & 5, 2017). Click here for the flyer
- Annie the Musical – May 11, 2017. Special Q&A for Girl Scouts at 5pm, show starts at 7pm. Wear your uniform to the show. Annie patches will be available for purchase. Click here for details on how to order tickets.
For a complete list of member benefits, click here to see the list on the Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts website.
Medford Girl Scouts Complete “Take Action” Project by Releasing Ladybugs to Support Food Pantry Garden
The girls from Troop 72096, who just completed first grade, gathered together on Saturday, July 16, with several master gardeners at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Medford to conclude their Daisy year with a Take Action project: the release of almost 20 ladybugs. These small insects are formidable fighters and eat aphids, tiny bugs that afflict vegetable gardens. Controlling aphids is especially important because the food grown at the church is donated directly to the Community Cupboard food pantry. Fewer aphids will equal healthier plants, which will mean more food for the 7090 families that rely on the pantry each week.
The Daisy Girl Scouts spent the past few months learning about gardens. They planted and tended snow peas and beets at Grace Episcopal Church in Medford, which were all donated to the food pantry. Through this work, the girls learned about what gardens need to stay healthy.
They became interested in raising ladybugs and built small habitats to allow each girl to raise a few insects. Having tended them carefully through their larva and pupa stages, the girls were thrilled to watch numerous Spotted Pink Ladybugs emerge from their cocoons. On July 16 at dusk, after carefully watering the plants and inspecting for evidence of aphids, the girls released the ladybugs into their new home. The ladybugs now inhabit the Medford Community Cupboard Food Pantry Vegetable Garden, which is a new program started this year by the food pantry with support from the Unitarian Universalist Church of Medford and the Massachusetts Master Gardener Association. A team of Master Gardeners “champions” the program and are on site every Thursday from 1PM to 4PM, providing education, working with volunteers, and harvesting vegetables that are distributed at the food pantry on Thursday evenings.
The girls very much enjoyed working with the Master Gardeners to contribute to this local food pantry and they eagerly look forward to the projects they may take on as Brownies this coming school year!
Warm weather has finally arrived, and school is basically over for the year, so what’s a Girl Scout to do with all her free time? Earn our local council’s patches, that’s what. Each Girl Scout council in the United States has its own patches and Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts is no exception. You don’t need to be visiting from away to explore some of our local historic sites and attractions, and earn a special patch while you are at it.
Below are some of patches unique to Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts. Each patch has its own requirements and, once you have completed them, you can buy (or order) the patch from one of Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts’s stores. Click here for store locations and hours.
Freedom Trail Patch: Starting in the Boston Common, follow the red line on the sidewalk to trace a path through history. All levels of Girl Scouts are invited to answer one of two quizzes about the historic sites along the Freedom Trail to earn this patch. Click here to download the requirements.
Marathon: Go the Distance! Patch: Juniors, Cadettes, Seniors and Ambassadors can earn this patch learning about the Boston Marathon, how to train for a marathon, and the history of marathons. Girls must also help out, or run in, a road race of any distance (or set up their own fitness routine.) Click here to download the requirements.