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A reason to look up

A local Girl Scout group made something to give patients in the emergency room a reason to smile.

The Juniors in Girl Scout Troop 5292 decided to paint ceiling tiles in the emergency room at Sentara BelleHarbour as they worked towards their Bronze Award.

The Bronze Award is the first step in earning the Gold Award, the highest achievement a Girl Scout can earn. The Bronze Award is usually pursued at the Junior level that consists of fourth- and fifth-graders. Part of earning the Bronze Award is doing a service project. This project not only focuses on community service but is something that will last.

“The projects are mostly community service-oriented and have longevity,” said Kristi Willis, the leader for the Junior troop. “It’s not just picking up trash for a couple of hours. It’s something ongoing and sustainable.”

The troop is located in Driver and usually holds their meetings at Beech Grove United Methodist Church. However, due to the pandemic, the girls have met at Sleepy Hole Park to follow the Girl Scouts’ COVID-19 guidelines of meeting outside.

In June, the girls met to talk about their ideas for their project. Each of them had the task of researching ideas that other Girl Scout troops or other organizations have done. After discussing their findings and ideas, the girls decided to paint ceiling tiles to cheer up patients in the emergency room. The girls met and discussed their ideas with the emergency room manager at Sentara BelleHarbour and received 12 ceiling tiles to decorate.

“They really enjoyed doing it,” said Willis. “The ceiling tiles will provide a pretty view while people are in the emergency room in order to help ease their time and take their mind off of why they are there.”

To decorate their tiles, Kelly Amrine let the girls use her shop, Make Something Studios, on Bridge Road near the outpatient campus. Amrine donated the studio time and supplies to the girls to complete their project. The girls painted flowers, outer space, a jellyfish, a penguin, a rainbow with a pot of gold and a horse in a meadow. 

When delivering their decorated ceiling tiles, the girls were able to see one of them installed. This gave the girls an idea of what their service project will provide for the patients who come into the emergency room. The patients who come to the emergency room at Sentara BelleHarbour will now have something to look up to.