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A birthday party, a Christmas scene, the ocean floor, a playground - these are favorite things for some eight- and nine-year-old girls in Brownie Troop 30226. They are also the scenes decorating the inside of the new little community library the troop recently made and installed at the Carver Community Center playground.

The girls are learning important life lessons, such as the value of community service and how to become active in a cause. Folks visiting the Carver Center’s outdoor play space can now not only choose from lots of fun equipment, they can select a book to read while there too. Brownie Troop 30226 is eager for the community to enjoy using their project by taking a book and leaving a book.

Like many of the other girls in the troop, Elena found painting the little library the best part. The girls worked in pairs to select a scene, sketch it out and then paint it. “I learned that it does not work very well to erase on wood,” Elena said with a giggle.

Addison is excited to share her love of reading and of imagining things with others. “It was hard for me to give away some of my books, but I did it anyway,” she said. “I can’t wait for others to get to read them.”

These 12 girls hope to encourage and improve literacy by making books available at all times, not just when the public or school library is open. They recognize that sometimes parents can’t make it to the library. They also know that when children come to the park with their family, the kids may want to do different activities. The little library allows a parent to read with one while the others are playing. “Take a book, leave a book,” they exclaim.

Each girl recently placed books from her personal library in the unit.

The girls undertook the project as part of a Brownie book journey they are working which advised them to undertake a “take action and give back” community project. They chose the Carver Center playground for its central location and the fact that it naturally draws children and family members who may want to read. They received support from the town of Black Mountain Recreation and Parks staff, said troop leader Clista Lewis.

Parents in the troop contributed lumber and paint for the project.

The girls invite the community to participate by taking a book to read or putting books in the unit for others. They welcome all ages of book contributions, both children and adults. The troop will maintain the library and replenish books as needed.

During year, the troop will engage in other community service projects, such as the beautification project coming up the Swannanoa library and the river cleanup at Veteran’s Park in Black Mountain.

Their activity calendar also includes rafting, camping, parade participation, in addition to their regular evening meetings.

For more information about the Brownie Troop or their project, contact Lewis at 545-8933.

The group is part of a larger Girl Scout Troop 30226, has been active for almost 15 years, and currently meets on Tuesdays at Black Mountain United Methodist Church.

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