Annemarie Fuerst, 14, of Covington, Kentucky, a member of Girl Scouts of Kentucky's Wilderness Road and an eighth-grader at Guardian Angels Academy at Stonebridge, worked with her Girl Scout troop to restore a dilapidated arts and crafts barn at a scout camp. “We loved camping there and decided we wanted to return to it at least once a year,” said Annemarie of Camp Cardinal, a Girl Scout camp two hours from her home. She and her peers wanted to do something for the camp, so they talked to its caretakers about ways they could help. When Annemarie heard that the arts and crafts barn was in dire need of repair, she wanted to pitch in. “I love many kinds of art,” she said. “So this was a good match for me.”
To begin the project, Annemarie and her fellow scouts set a list of goals, then prepared a PowerPoint slideshow to present their ideas to scout officials and troop leaders. After they obtained approval, the girls got their first look inside the barn in November 2017. “It was quite a mess,” said Annemarie. The building was covered with graffiti and filled with old mattresses and a broken kiln. The art tables were covered with paint, marker ink and glitter, and the chairs were rusted and had been chewed by rodents. The team moved items to storage, organized supplies, built a shelf and scrubbed. After Annemarie asked her neighbors to donate paint and painting supplies, she and the others went back and covered the graffiti with fresh paint. Then she set out to restore the tables so that future scouts would be able to create their art on a clean surface. “The difference from before and after was amazing!” Annemarie said. An added benefit was that during the project, the girls uncovered paintings that Girl Scouts from as far back as the 1960s had created. They displayed the artwork in hopes that “they inspire current scouts,” she said.