HANNIBAL — Twelve Daisy and Brownie Scouts at Oakwood Elementary School reached the destination on their journey, “It's Your World: Change It,” when they planted a tree in front of their school on Friday, Oct. 4.
Kyle Monroe, with the Missouri Department of Conservation, shared tree biology and planting advice with the girls. Julie Viehmann said the new tree was the culmination of the lessons the girls learned about the environment, how to keep it clean and aspects about trees, bees and other parts of nature. In addition to being a natural fit for the journey's topic, Viehmann felt planting the tree in front of the school was ideal.
“I thought it would be fun, since they all go to Oakwood School, to plant the tree at Oakwood, with the hopes that they can see it grow as the years move forward,” Viehmann said.
The Scouts attend classes from Kindergarten through third grade at the school. They worked alongside Monroe on each step of the process, digging a large enough hole, steadying the tree, filling the dirt in and excitedly shouting “water” in unison when he asked some of the things their new tree would need to grow. Viehmann said the girls have interacted with naturewith hands-on activities.
“We've gone on hikes together, we've learned about butterflies, we've learned about bees, we've even tasted different varieties of honey,” Viehmann said. “It's just been so much fun to see the girls learn to go dig in the dirt and not worry about getting dirty.” Several of the girls shared what they liked best about their outdoor journey.
“My favorite part was pouring the water in,” Hazel Judlowe, 7, said. “Because the water is squishy sloppy, and I like the big jugs that it comes out of.”
“I love getting my hands dirty,” Quinn Locke, 6, said. Ainsley Viehmann, 7, enjoyed getting to go on adventures with her fellow scouts.
“It was fun putting the tree in and digging,” Ainsley said. Her brother, Kael, 10, enjoys the chance to lend a helping hand with his sisters as they learn new things.
“I just love coming out and watching my sister doing this fun stuff,” Kael said. “I have fun experiences. I like helping out. It's fun.” His sister, Landry, 7, agreed.
“I like it because everybody gets to see our plant growing at our school,” Landry said.
With fall temperatures leading to more indoor activities, the girls are ready for new adventures for the rest of the year. Viehmann said she hopes to focus on projects like engineering or computer science with the girls next. Hazel expressed her enthusiasm about being a scout at her favorite school.
“I love, love, love Oakwood,” Hazel said.