By Randy Arrington
SHENANDOAH, March 9 — It takes a village, to restore a village.
Later this month, the Wig Wam Village Playground will be celebrating the completion of Phase II improvements to the town park. But on Monday, they got a little help with those improvements from two local Girl Scouts.
Danika Hammer and Brianna Thompson of Trop 40771 dedicated a free book library near the park’s entrance.
“We wanted to have something else for kids here at the park,” Brianna said.
“And maybe get more kids reading,” Danika added.
The Scouts each earned their Silver Award through 50 hours of community service put into the free book library. The two 13 year olds took an old newspaper box (donated by the Page News and Courier) and transformed it into a colorful, eye-catching book library.
Park visitors are encouraged to take a book, or leave a book — much like the penny cups at convenience stores. The initial supply of books came from the two Scouts and the Town of Shenandoah.
The two teenagers were inspired by a similar project at Shenandoah Elementary.
“I’m so proud of them,” said Diana Miller, leader of Girl Scout Troop 40771. “All I did was guide them along; they did everything.”
The town has a six-phase plan for improvements at the popular town park, including:
- PHASE I — Challenger Hi-Rise (in place);
- PHASE II — Swingset and train (in place);
- PHASE III — Superhero set (planned at a cost of $23,315 with help from grants provided by the Page County Alliance for Community Action and other sources);
- PHASE IV — Dome area and 19’x15’ toddler area;
- PHASE V — Remodel/rebuild seats and entrance with Trex;
- PHASE VI — Restroom with handicap accessible water fountain.
“Lots of kids live within walking distance of this park,” Town Manager Juanita Roudabush said. “It provides a safe place for kids to play.”
The town will celebrate the completion of the Phase II equipment replacements at 2 p.m. on Monday, March 23 at the park, located at 305 First Street.
“This replacement of our playground equipment is only possible thanks to the support and generous contributions from local businesses and community members,” a notice about the March 23 event states.
“The community always wants to see a rebirth,” said Councilman Charles Jenkins, who serves as chairman of the town’s Parks and Recreation Committee. “The old structure was less used because of its condition. Kids are now more apt to come out, having new stuff.”
Brianna and Danika hope their free book library will help enhance the park’s offerings and provide another opportunity for kids to read. The two teenagers say that Girl Scouts, through projects like this, have taught them about the larger community.
“Girl Scouts has helped me learn to be more generous to people because I’m able to, and not just because I have a project to do,” Danika said.
“I’ve gotten leadership and responsibility and how to make the community, and the world, a better place,” Brianna added. “It’s a great opportunity to get you places in life.”
Girls interested in joining Troop 40771 may contact troop leader Diana Miller at (540) 481-3787.