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Friday, August 18, 2017

Muskegon Area Girl Scouts Building Buddy Benches

Have you ever heard of a "buddy bench"?  Have you ever had the opportunity to sit on one?  Well, the kids at the Reeths Puffer elementary schools will not only get to know what a buddy bench is, they will have the opportunity to put them to use on a daily basis and quite possibly building friendships and understanding.   Local Girl Scout Troops came together to build the benches and get the job done.

Tee Vallejo sent me a message a couple weeks ago telling me about the project, and I was curious.  So, I packed up the camera and headed north.  The buddy benches are another project in a long list of things the girls in troops 4580, 4800, 4802, 4824, 4826 and 4829.  They have worked in the past with Pound Buddies, did a partial make over at the Reeths Puffer Intermediate Library but the buddy benches have a special meaning.

These benches are being built to honor Doreen Hicks.  Doreen is currently battling cancer.  She is also a life long Girl Scout and her lesson to the young ladies has always been to respect one another, speak kind words and that kindness matters.  All very sage and wise words in today's world.  As Doreen continues her fight, they thought it best to offer others the chance to experience her wisdom with a gift of these benches.

So, what is the purpose of a buddy bench?  It's simple.  If someone feels alone, or left out or just needs a chance to have a spot to plunk down for a few minutes of thought and reflection....the buddy bench is there.  It's also a signal to others to say "hey, i could use a hand over here....anyone care to come sit a spell?"  In all honesty....the entire planet needs more benches where people can just sit down and talk.

I met up with Tee and Girl Scouts Lauren Maples and Avy Warrick to learn about the project and see the work going on.  Take a listen.

The benches will be presented on August 23rd and it's pretty cool to think that in a very unique and special way, elementary students in Reeths Puffer will have a way to send a subtle sign that they are in need of a hand, or maybe an ear.  It's not easy for kids to ask for a hand, it's not easy for adults to ask for a hand, but we all need one.  The Girl Scouts have found a way to offer some respite for years to come and a lesson to all about compassion and kindness!  Kudos to these great young ladies and their troop leaders!

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