ROCK SPRINGS —Girl Scout Troop 1325 not only raised money for the Young at Heart Community Center (YAH), but they also recycled enough plastic to donate a bench.
When Girl Scout Troop 1325 signed up for the Trex Recycling Program they didn’t know if they would recycle enough plastic to earn a bench or what they would do with it if they did, but that didn’t stop them from starting the program in October of 2020.
This program required the troop to collect 500 pounds of plastic bags and plastic wrap within a six-month time period. For this particular program, plastic bottles were not accepted. If the 500-pound goal was met, the Trex Recycling Program would send the Scouts a bench that it could place in the community.
The troop collected plastic not only from their homes, but and all over town. Troop leader Meghan Torrontegui said they placed collector bins at Home Depot, and picked up plastic from Wyoming Western Beverage, Sportsman’s Warehouse, and the United States Post Office weekly.
“They reached their goal of 500 pounds in about four months,” Torrontegui said. “The troop decided to donate the bench to Young at Heart to say thank you to them for allowing us to have our troop meetings at their location.”
Through the recycling program, the Scouts learned how long it takes different items to decompose. For example: plastic takes 20 to 500 years to decompose depending on what kind of plastic material it is.
“While collecting, I don’t think any of us realized how much plastic we use on a daily basis, and there are some of our Girl Scout families that continue to take their plastic to Smith’s for recycling,” Torrontegui said.
While the Scouts were waiting the bench to arrive, cookie-selling season started in February. The troop had heard that Young at Heart was raising funds for a new vehicle for their Meals on Wheels program, Torrontegui said. They wanted to help, so they decided to use some of the funds they earned from selling cookies to donate to YAH along with the bench.
The troop leaders had thought selling around $500 would be a good goal, however the Scouts had other plans. During cookie sales, troops receive 50 cents for every box they sell. In order to obtain the $500, the troop needed to sell 1,000 boxes of cookies.
“The troop didn’t think that was enough, they wanted to donate $2,000 so 4,000 boxes of cookies,” Torrontegui said.
The troop didn’t stop there though. They had even bigger plans.
“We also needed to raise enough funds to help with badges, supplies, and new uniforms this year. That was another 1,600 boxes we needed to sell,” Torrontegui said.
The Scouts made a soft goal of selling 3,600 boxes so they could purchase what they needed for the troop and also donate $1,000 to YAH. After some discussion, the troop decided to make a stretch goal of 5,600 boxes so they could donate $2,000 to YAH.
“The troop ended up selling close to 6,000 boxes of cookies,” Torrontegui said.
She said the Scouts have set and obtained goals in the past, but this one was one of the biggest goals for the troop. However, Torrontegui said she knew the Scouts could achieve the goal if they worked hard.
“It meant a lot to them to give back to the place that has allowed us to have our meetings, where we have been able to create so many wonderful memories,” she said.
The Scouts were overjoyed to see how happy YAH employees were to receive the donation and bench. For them, it was a way to say thank you, for YAH it was a thank you that was certainly appreciated.
“These girls really worked hard this year, and we couldn’t be more proud of all their accomplishments. I can’t wait to see what a new year brings,” Torrontegui said.