Girls Scouts from Troop 9004 create inspirational rock garden filled with hand-painted messages

“Be graceful.”

“Help people.”

“True faith.”

Girl Scouts in Troop 9004 painted these messages and several more in bright colors on rocks to help create an inspirational garden at Spooner Creek Park.

Troop Leader Tracy Coffey said she “planted the seed” during a recent meeting as she discussed ways the girls could give back to their community with funds they raised during Girl Scout cookie sales. The Girl Scouts were enthusiastic about an inspirational rock garden.

Various members of the community chipped in to help the girls achieve their vision. Bleigh Construction donated rocks. Coffey's husband, Robert, constructed the garden's wood frame. Parks and Recreation suggested Spooner Creek Park and provided support. the Scouts used troop funds to purchase supplies, and Iva's Printing applied lettering to the sign.

Coffey said the garden was an ideal way for the girls to give back while sharing their creativity with visitors to the park.

“We are always trying to do things in the community,” Coffey said. “They always like to paint rocks, and they love to do crafts and paints and things. So I asked them what we could do in the community that would inspire someone, and we thought it would be awesome if we could paint the rocks.”

The Scouts developed each of the inspirational messages, like “synergize” “Be responsible” and “You're pretty” on the rocks. A large green rock in the corner of the garden is painted with the Girl Scout Law: “On my honor, I will try to serve God and my country, to help people at all times and to live by the Girl Scout Law.”

Coffey said the goal of the garden is to share smiles and inspiration. Visitors are encouraged to take a rock or leave one with their own message. She hopes that members of other troops and fellow community members will come by to take a rock or paint one of their own.

As the girls checked out the rocks in the garden, they could see the sharing had already begun.

“It's exciting to see that some of them have been taken already, and that somebody's already put new ones back in,” she said. “And the girls really like to come and see that some are gone and that some new ones are there. Hopefully it's inspiring someone.”

The Girl Scouts shared that sentiment. “It felt good, because we got to inspire other people to make more rocks, and that can help build up people's confidence — and so they know Girl Scouts do this stuff,” said Carlee, 9.

Fellow scout Kali, 9, agreed. Kali enjoyed making the rocks, because they could make people happy.

“I hope this garden will encourage people to tell other people what these rocks say — to be helpful, kind, to have help and tell people never to give up in hard times and keep on going,” said 10-year-old Koryn.

The Girl Scouts aren't slowing down with their efforts to reach out in the community.

Coffey said the girls are preparing for their next outreach project to give birthday bags to foster children through Douglass Community Services. She looks forward to the garden continuing to grow throughout the community.

For more information about how to contribute to the inspirational garden, please email Coffey at tracy_coffey_hg@yahoo.com.

trevor.mcdonald@courierpost.com