What does a Girl Scout mean to you? Is it someone who sells cookies? Someone kind and courageous who does community service? The 12 Stepney Elementary School second-graders of Girl Scout Brownie Troop 34165 brainstormed ideas of what scouting means to them, before expressing their answers in paintings.
The paintings were combined into one mural, “We Are Girl Scouts”, which is now on display in the lobby of Monroe Town Hall.
Melissa Timmins, co-leader of Girl Scout Brownie Troop 34165, said the mural earned troops their Painting Badge.
“I think deciding what is displayed was powerful for them,” Timmins said. “It made them realize their work is important and can be put on display — not just recycled. I feel like they understood this was a big project. Doing it together made them more proud of it, than if they had done it themselves.”
The girls voted on what project they wanted to pursue and Timmins determined it was feasible. The mural depicts the girls’ understanding of what a Girl Scout is and what she does:
A Girl Scout is helpful.
A Girl Scout is part of a sisterhood.
A Girl Scout does community service.
A Girl Scout is courageous.
A Girl Scout sells cookies.
A Girl Scout grows up through the levels of girl scouting.
Days in the making
The mural was days in the making.
The troop interviewed their Stepney Elementary School art teacher, Dr. Jennifer Silva, who spoke to them about painting and inspiration, according to Timmins.
“Then they brought things from their homes to paint,” she said. “It was the practice run.”
On Sunday, Dec. 17, the troop met in the Parish Center of St. Stephen Roman Catholic Church in Trumbull, which has murals along the stairwell and on the third floor, giving the girls examples of what murals look like.
The Girl Scout Brownies decided what they wanted to paint and started working on it at the church.
“We brought all of the supplies, all the drop cloths, they had a long two hour painting event to create it,” Timmins said.
Each girl created her own piece, making the finishing touches at home. One girl, who could not make it to the church submitted her painting later.
Timmins said they measured out where each girls’ painting would go in the mural, before she glued everything together on cardboard and framed it with tape.
The girls had already earned their Making Friends and Making Games badges, before earning their Painting Badge. Timmins said the latest project will help them earn a patch for the back of their uniforms that says: Resilient, Ready, Strong.
Timmins presented the mural, which is made with tempera paint, to First Selectman Terry Rooney on Friday, Jan. 19. It will be on display at Monroe Town Hall through Feb. 2.
“We’re glad to have the mural,” Rooney said. “It brightens up everybody’s day.”
The first selectman said town officials are happy to support the Girl Scouts, adding his hope other community groups will also share their creativity.
Timmins said her troop is grateful to everyone who helped make the mural possible.
“St. Stephen’s was very accommodating and very helpful in letting us use their space,” she said of the Parish Center. “It’s a beautiful new space.”
“And thank you to the first selectman for letting them display their work, showing them their ideas have worth and that they’re supported in our town,” Timmins added. “Just having them display their mural gives them the idea that the work they do can impact their community.”
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