Girl Scout

Girl Scout Silver Award Project

Audrey M, a member of Girl Scout of Nassau County Troop 3230, enjoys hikes with her family, but she noticed how frustrating it was when trails are not marked. When it came time do her Girl Scout Silver Award project (which requires a Girl Scout Cadette to do a sustainable project that serves the community and has an educational component), she thought she could make the world a better place by installing signs to help other hikers enjoy trails. She sought the help of the Long Island Greenbelt Trail Conference and met with James Van Tassell, who became her advisor for her Silver Award project. A three-mile section of the twenty-mile long Nassau-Suffolk Greenbelt Hiking Trail specifically lacked any signs.

Although it was well marked with white blazes, a more obvious set of metal signs on posts would be ideal for this section because it has many parts when hikers have to merge onto a biking path, causing potentially dangerous conditions. Signs would help guide hikers where the foot paths divide away from the bike path.

A plan was put into place to install thirteen sign locations along that three mile section of trail. To prepare, donation requests were made for metal signs, posts and other supplies. Audrey arranged a custom order of the metal signs with the help of a family friend. Audrey used her sewing skills to make four red safety flags to warn people that a pickup truck was on the trail while hauling supplies for installing the signs. She went to Home Depot, who gave her a partial donation towards her lumber. Permits were submitted to the Department of Transportation who oversees the property. On October 26, 2019, a crew of fifteen volunteers from LIGTC, Girl Scouts, and others were gathered to help with the installment of the signs. One crew had an auger, posts, the truck, nails, and shovels to install the posts. The second crew had the signs, adhesive and screws to put up the signs. Installation day started with renting an auger, meeting the crews, installing the signs along the three mile route, and returning the auger.

A crew of four Girl Scouts walked the three-mile section to film a video and talk about where the trail is and where the signs are. This four-minute video is posted on YouTube and is also posted on the LIGTC’s website, LIGTC already maintains and cares for the trail, and they decided to also maintain the signs. Audrey donated extra metal signs, screws and safety flags to help maintain the signs for years to come. During this project, Audrey learned how to use equipment like an auger and a power drill. She learned leadership, budgeting and project management skills while organizing and executing her project. She would like to thank her advisor James Van Tassell, all of the LIGTC volunteers, Tommy J for assistance with the metal signs, the McCormick family, Home Depot for posts, all those who donated to her project, and her friends and family for their support.