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Kearney Girl Scouts to improve Scout camp waste reduction statewide

Nebraska City News-Press

Three Kearney Girl Scouts are making the world a better place, starting with their passion to reduce waste at camps across Nebraska, including Camp Catron in Nebraska City.

The eighth graders – Brianna Fick, Emma Davis and Anais Dettman – recently received a $5,000 grant from Wells Fargo to start sustainable composting programs at each Nebraska Girl Scout camp.

With the funds, the girls will provide composters, collection buckets and educational materials at Lakeview Cabin (North Platte), Camp Cosmo (Grand Island), Camp Crossed Arrows (Nickerson),) and Camp Maha (Papillion).

They also are partnering with a waste management company, TerraCycle in New Jersey, to collect nonrecyclable materials, such as silver-lined food wrappers, that will be turned into new products.

After meeting with park rangers, touring the camps and collecting site data, the Girl Scouts are in the next stage of their project – waiting for the compost bins to arrive, and reaching out to local businesses for more funding that will supply lumber to build the TerraCycle bins.

“We’re going to build the TerraCycle bins, so donations will go toward buying lumber,” said Brianna Fick. The girls will build shelves or special organizers, depending on the amount of space available and the amount of waste generated at each camp.

The girls plan to place the recycling and composting stations within a reasonable distance of camp amenities.

“We feel like it’s really important that recycling and composting is convenient for the campers and staff,” said Girl Scout volunteer Cecilia Fick, Brianna’s mother. “This will be a teaching opportunity for troops and campers.”­­­­­­­­­­­­

Educational materials will show campers how to correctly dispose of waste, and rangers will use the compost that is created at their camps.

Girl Scout camps are available for the public to rent. Visit www.girlscoutsnebraska.org/rentals to learn more about reserving camp cabins, zip lines and challenge courses.