A group of students from The Elizabeth W. Murphey School, a group home in Dover, stood anxiously outside of a door on Monday night, waiting to see the new recreation room that had been created for them by Brianna Boyd, a member of Girl Scout Troop 335.
As Boyd opened the door, Murphey School students flooded in and made themselves at home, starting a game of pool on a donated table, pulling up a game of Rock Band on the new Wii and crowding onto the couches to hang out with friends.
The new room is not only a place for Murphey School kids to come to relax, it is also a major stepping stone in Boyd’s progression as a Girl Scout. Boyd put the room together to earn her silver award, the highest honor a Girl Scout cadet can earn.
The process began when Boyd chose the school to be the site for her community service project. She then approached Grace Halama, director of personnel at the Murphey School, and asked her what the kids needed.
“One of the things they’ve always wanted is a recreation room,” Halam said, “so that they can come away from the houses and get together with other kids.”
There are four separate houses for students on the Murphey School campus. The new rec room gives them a common space to interact.
With a project to tackle, Boyd assembled a group of volunteers to help her. She took a signup sheet to her church, Calvary Assemblies of God, and recruited volunteers to help her.
Her church pitched in again when Boyd asked for donations. For four weeks she set up a booth with a poster board explaining her project and a box for donations. Donations from church members included everything from an air hockey table and a pool table to a Nintendo Wii, a keyboard and couches.
In late August, Boyd and her team of volunteers got down to work. They decorated the walls with peace signs, butterflies and inspirational messages and stocked the room with the donated items, games, craft supplies and furniture. Boyd’s mom, Tina Bradbury, was proud to see her daughter take on a task and finish it.
“As a parent you give them direction and then you don’t get to see them actually complete things sometimes because they’ll leave it undone or mom will fix it,” Bradbury said. “This was something I couldn’t fix. She had to do this on her own.”
Boyd spent roughly a year planning and executing her project. A total of 50 hours went into earning her silver award.
Page 2 of 2 - Boyd had her project done in time for the Oct. 1 deadline, the official date on which she would transition from being a cadet to a senior scout. She unveiled the new space for the Murphey School students on Monday, completing the main portion of the project. The second phase of the project has already gone into effect.
“The silver award harps on the fact that we want sustainability,” said Girl Scout Troop 335 leader Lisa Prisco. “We don’t want to just do a service for someone and walk out.”
By bringing in volunteers from her church, Boyd created a link between the church and the Murphey School. The youth from Calvary Assemblies of God have already held a barbecue and a movie night at the Murphey School in order to foster sustainability.
Now that her work is finished and the room was handed over to the children of the Murphey School, Boyd took a moment to reflect on her accomplishment.
“It’s something in my life where I know I helped others,” she said. “I know that it’s going to help others and have an impact on them.”