When a child begins to feel lonely where should they go? This was a question Elk Grove Village Girl Scout Brownie Troop 45744 sought to fulfill through the completion of a scout-led Take Action Project. A Take Action Project is one in which the project outcome has a sustainable influence that addresses a need in the community.
Co-leaders Bailey Goodman and Malinda Larking, started the Buddy Bench project in January 2021 to give children a safe place to go to and signal to other children they’d like someone to talk to or play with when they feel isolated or lonely. With the enthusiastic help of the girls in Brownie Troop 45744, funds were raised for the purchase of what is now affectionately named the Buddy Bench.
The next step was deciding on a location for the Buddy Bench. Troop 45744 decided that either Rupley School or Clearmont Elementary School would be great places for their Buddy Bench to be available for children. They contacted the Elk Grove Park District, who owns and maintains the parks adjacent to the schools, to explore the potential of these locations for installation of the bench.
The Elk Grove Park District Parks Department worked with the troop leaders to bring their vision to life. Together they found a suitable spot on the grounds of Andrews Park next to Rupley School near the playground and successfully completed the installation of the Buddy Bench on Friday, March 12, 2021. The Buddy Bench proudly bears the passage “Make the World a Better Place”, a tribute to the intentions and people behind the project, and an inspirational reminder of a common goal we can all share.