Early Saturday morning, they were in the parking lot of the headquarters, a group of young women assembling boards to make raised beds for a vegetable garden. The network works with local houses of worship to help homeless families find their footing.
Putting the boards together took maybe half an hour, but the planning that went into the project demanded a year, said Lynn Faust. She's one of two adult advisors for the group, called Juliets. They are older Girl Scouts--14 and 15 years old--whose common interest in community service brings them together.
The young women are on a "Sow What" journey, moving along through the years-long process toward receiving their Gold Award. It's the Girl Scout equivalent of the Boy Scout Eagle Scouting designation, but it seems more complicated.
The Sow What Journey comes with an activity book listing activities that combine food and commnity service. These have included doing a cooking demonstration at the , visiting a pig farm, touring the , painting at the and cooking a vegetarian meal using locally grown vegeatbles.
"It's a progression," said Lizzy Ratajczak, 15, a Juliet from Athens. "Most girls don't get their Gold until they're a senior a high school or a freshman in college."
The last activity in the Sow What journey was a sustainable service project--creating a raised bed vegetable garden for the guests at the Interfaith Hospitality Network. The Juliets spent months planning their project and raising donations to buy the materials.
They worked on the in-town garden with the Athens Land Trust. Community garden coordinator Laura Hall said the IHN garden is one of many the non-profit has helped create with . Others include the West Broad Market Farm, a garden at , another at ACTION's Oconee Street soup kitchen and two at the
For the Juliets' raised beds, the Land Trust supplied top soil, compost, seeds and plants, Hall said. Everything should be ready for a fall garden, which will supply fresh food to famlies who are guests of the IHN.
On Saturday, Bill and Nancy Evelyn--who's a co-leader of the Girl Scout Troop that includes 14-year-old daughter Isabel--were on hand to help out. Nancy and a few girls made a run to Lowe's for some materials.
"I think it's incredible," said Bill Evelyn, who works at UGA. "Girl Scouting is a huge part of Lilly's life, and what she enjoys most is the service end. She's always ready to help out."
correction: in an earlier version of this story, Isabel Evelyn wasn't corrected identified. She is now!