Working with parents and Scout leaders, the youngsters helped assemble, sand and finish the bench, which soon will find its place near the Tilford playground.
The project accomplished several goals, says Den 3 leader and Scout mom Chelsea Kettler.
First, it provides the Buddy Bench, which encourages students in need of a friend to find one. Students who see another child sitting alone on the bench are encouraged to sit with them, or encourage that person to come play with them.
Kettler was among the Scout leaders organizing the effort.
“My inspiration came to me at the end of last school year, when my son came home after school crying because he couldn’t find anyone to play with him at recess, and was turned away by another boy,” she explains. “It broke my heart.”
Knowing that this happens to other children, Kettler came up with the idea of a Scout-made Buddy Bench.
“I had heard about Buddy Benches before and did some research on them. I asked Mr. Murray if this would be an okay thing for us to make and he agreed and thought it would be a wonderful idea,” Kettler adds.
After the summer break, the Scouts began working on the project.
“My husband, Seth, he drew up a plan-design in his head,” says Kettler. “His employer, Kurt Kerkman with Kurt’s Enterprises, loved our idea and offered to donate to materials for it. Once Seth had everything in order we had our boys assemble it and get it put together and stained. They worked so hard at getting it together and had a fun time doing it.”
The project took the Scouts nearly 2 1/2 hours to complete, on a school night, but they never faltered, says their leader.
“I am so proud of all the hard work they did to help put this bench together for the school. The whole purpose for the bench is for anyone playing on the playground can go sit on the bench when they can’t find anyone to play with. Someone may have friends and just can’t find them, or not have any friends at all. Once they sit on the bench then the rest of the children are to know that they need a friend to play with and they then can go up and ask them to play with them. It’s a wonderful way to make new friends as well, even if you already have some.” Kettler adds.
In addition to helping their school and classmates, the project helped the Scouts toward two Scouting goals. First, it helped them achieve the goals of the Baloo the Builder Adventure , which teaches Scouts the proper and safe use of tools, as well as choosing the proper materials for a project. Alos, says Kettler, the project count towards earning the Bear Badge after Den 3 members meet all the other requirements.