Maumee Girl Scouts Collect Thousands Of Bottle Caps To Create Three Friendship Benches For Lonely Students

Girl Scout Troop 10726 members pose with the friendship bench they presented to Wayne Trail Elementary. The girls collected hundreds of pounds of plastic caps and lids that were turned into three benches – one for each of the Maumee City Schools elementaries. MIRROR PHOTO BY KRISTI FISH

BY KRISTI FISH | MIRROR REPORTER — Girl Scout Troop 10726 made it their mission to create a lasting and sustainable project to benefit their community, and on November 9, they were able to show it off.

The Girl Scouts collected plastic bottle caps and lids from Maumee residents and were able to create three friendship benches out of the material, one of which was recently unveiled at Wayne Trail Elementary.

“We decided to look at our school community and felt there was a need for a friendship bench, a place where those who may feel alone can go and others will see this and invite them to play,” the troop said in a statement.

The push behind the bench was to earn their Bronze Award, the highest award that a junior Girl Scout can achieve. It must be sustainable and requires each of the Scouts to spend at least 20 hours on the project. To reach the 20 hours, the girls spent time collecting, sorting and cleaning the caps. 

More than 500 pounds of caps were collected; 200 pounds were used for the bench at Wayne Trail and two additional 150-pound benches will be placed at Fairfield and Fort Miami elementary schools. Any additional caps will be given to other groups that wish to carry out similar projects.

“They’re happy to see their hard work pay off. I’m not sure they realize how substantial this is,” said troop leader Kathi Farley. “We’re all very proud of them.”

During the unveiling, parents, family and friends were joined by several school and city representatives who expressed their pride in the girls’ accomplishment.

“This is something you’ll remember for a long time. You’ll be able to come back here and show your friends what you contributed to your school. You did a good job, you worked hard and the whole city appreciates what you did,” Maumee Mayor Rich Carr said to the Girl Scouts at the unveiling.

Wayne Trail principal Nick Neiderhouse also said he was happy to see their hard work pay off and that future students will benefit from the gift.

“It’s a really neat bench that I know many of the students will use during recess. It’s like a buddy bench in the perfect location by our prairie,” said Neiderhouse. “It’s not just giving back to our school, but also the environment with all the recycling they did.”

The benches were created by Green Tree Plastics through the ABC Promise Partnership. The caps were checked and weighed at the location in Evansville, Ind., and the Girl Scouts received a rating of A-plus for their caps.

After the Wayne Trail bench was created, Mark Zientek of the Toledo Technology Academy of Engineering donated his time and resources to engrave it.

The Girl Scouts also recognized the city of Maumee, the Toledo Zoo, local businesses and Maumee City Schools for helping with the collection.

“We could not have reached this goal without community support of this project as well as community support during cookie season. Thank you,” the troop’s statement said.

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