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HomeBusiness & CommunityGirl Scouts Plant Flowers for the Elderly

Girl Scouts Plant Flowers for the Elderly

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On June 21, the local Girl Scout Troop 24425 visited the Vitality Assisted Living in Spring Hill to spread a little joy and give seniors an opportunity to get active. The scouts, parents, and troop leaders arrived that morning to plant flowers at three different buildings around Vitality’s complex. They brought flowers, mulch, planters, and tools and set about brightening up the Aspen, Cedarwood, and Pine Lodge buildings on Friday.

Three scouts participated on Friday morning as they worked towards finishing their silver award project. The trio included Allie Licht, Katilyn Cox, and Sophia Mazza, as parents watched on and helped when necessary. At the helm of the scout troop was Marlow Gilbert while Cheryl Licht is co-troop leader and a parent to one of the scouts.

The troop showed up at 10 in the morning as Cheryl and her husband, Dan, carried the planters to the various locations around the campus and poured down the mulch. From there, the scouts got their hands dirty and did the rest. They spaced out the flowers, packed them in the mulch, and watered them as the project stretched into the afternoon.

The venture was funded by P&C Solutions and the flowers were mostly donated by Aventura Nursery. Walmart Super Center also chipped in a few plants. White Sun Patiens and pink Vincas were given to the Girl Scouts to help them accomplish their goal.

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Licht oversaw the project and ensured that the girls were handling as many aspects of its completion as possible. The leader and mother wanted to make sure the scouts were “taking control and learning from it.”

The girls spent the last year working hard on the project and logged 40 hours of work in the process. Nearly every aspect of the endeavor was managed by the scouts themselves, too. Many of these hours were spent on researching and planning, and Kaitlyn Cox even reached out to the Sun in the hopes of spreading news about their work.

According to Licht, the scouts researched “the benefits of gardening for the elderly. They went down to physical movements, to stimulating the brain, all sorts of information they learned just to help them realize the importance of staying active as you get older.”

The Silver Award is a project for scouts in middle school that allows them to help others and give back to the community. The endeavor must be sustainable, and they are tasked with choosing the topic themselves. Once in high school, the girls who remain with the troop can work towards the next award level above silver: gold.

Ultimately, “they decided they really wanted to help our elderly population since we have so many here in Spring Hill, Florida. They realized that as they become older, they are getting more and more inactive, and that is a problem for them. So, [the scouts] want to find ways to help keep them active and gardening is beneficial in many ways.”

The girls are also readying to take trips this summer thanks in large part to the sales of the ever-popular Girl Scout cookies. Allie Licht, who wants to continue serving with the Girl Scouts, will be traveling to Dollywood, Tennessee and white water rafting with her troop using the funds that were raised. This is a crucial lesson to teach the children as the girls will be rewarded with a fun vacation due to all their hard work throughout the year.

“It is about creating girls that are leaders and wanting to give back,” Cheryl said.

Girl Scout Kaitlyn Cox Waters Flowers at Vitality Living Spring Hill on Friday. [Photo by Austyn Szempruch]
Girl Scout Kaitlyn Cox Waters Flowers at Vitality Living Spring Hill on Friday. [Photo by Austyn Szempruch]

Austyn Szempruch
Austyn Szempruch
Austyn Szempruch is a Graduate with Distinction, University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications. He's written numerous articles reporting on Florida Gators football, basketball, and soccer teams; the sports of rugby, basketball, professional baseball, hockey, and the NFL Draft. Prior to Hernando Sun he was a contributor to ESPN, Gainesville, FL and Gator Country Multimedia, Inc. in Gainesville, FL, and Stadium Gale.
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