Woman Scouts earn Gardening badge | Information

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TEWKSBURY – The Tewksbury Junior Girl Scout Troop 67431 recently visited the Tewksbury Community Garden, located behind the Tewksbury Public Library, to earn their gardening badge.

Gardening Steering Committee member Lauren Cunningham and her daughter, UConn student, TMHS 2020 graduate, and gardening volunteer Megan, ran them. The Community Garden supports both individual lots and community lots, which are gardens that are maintained by everyone and whose products are sold in the library to raise funds for the Tewksbury Community Pantry.

Cunningham explained how composting works, how the garden is biologically fertilized, and taught the Boy Scouts about organic and safe pest control, such as flowers that repel insects. Cunningham discussed how flowers planted randomly on the plots act as natural insect repellants and protect the plants.

The Boy Scouts learned about diatomaceous earth, another natural insect control measure, and saw the little cottages that attract useful beetles for the garden. Cunningham demonstrated how potatoes and garlic are grown and how the onions and tubers are donated to the pantry.

Cunningham said, “The girls were very attentive, delighted even in the afternoon heat, and asked many thoughtful questions.”

As part of the badge requirements, the girls were assigned to visit a garden, explore garden design, learn how to choose garden plants, experiment with seeds, and plant their own garden. The Boy Scouts went on a scavenger hunt to identify plants, select garden decorations, and look for other items such as a hummingbird food and a bee waterer.

“You can now identify rhubarb,” said troop co-leader Stacey Gugliuzza, who was thrilled to finally let the girls work outdoors in person. “In addition to the STEAM badges, the girls in my youth group love to be outside! They love to fish, swim, hike and just be in nature. I think it’s great that you have a group that supports and encourages this passion! “

Megan Cunningham said, “I was impressed with how enthusiastic everyone (Boy Scouts and parents!) Was to see the respect, guidance and excitement that all the Boy Scouts showed.”

As part of fulfilling their badge requirements, the Boy Scouts also worked with soil and pots to plant their own flower and bean seeds for them to take home and tend to. According to Gugliuzza, the girls shared different ways they garden at home, e.g. bounties.

The girls learned that the small stones in the water baths are used by the bees to rest while drinking; something that most people would have casually dismissed as a cute garden feature.

Lauren Cunningham said, “It was great fun hosting the Boy Scouts in the garden. Everyone in the company had a lot of ideas to share and asked some great questions that got us thinking and researching answers. “

Gugliuzza said the troop are keen to be part of the library’s community garden now.

“They asked if we could get our own plot of land next year and if we could donate our harvest to the garden market and the pantry!” Said Gugliuzza.

The girls can volunteer in the garden this summer and next year and help sell the crops. Gugliuzza even offered the girls to have their own garden in their garden if there was no land available in the library, the proceeds going to the community pantry.

To the boy scouts, Gugliuzza said, “You definitely left gardening with an excitement and passion!”

For more information on the Tewksbury Community Garden, visit https://www.tewksburypl.org/get-involved/pages/tpl-community-garden.

For more information on the Girl Scouts at Tewksbury, please visit GSEMA.org.