HomeMoorestown NewsMoorestown Troop 21279 create Kindness Benches for schools and community

Moorestown Troop 21279 create Kindness Benches for schools and community


For a Junior Girl Scout, the highest honor achievable is the Bronze Award. It is acquired by working together as a troop, putting in at least 20 hours of work and doing something to better the community. The girls of Troop 21279 wanted to give back to the community in a way that would help their peers as well as stay in the community for years to come.

Troop 21279 came up with the idea to create Kindness Benches, which are benches for the youth to sit on when they are lonely and want a friend, or to just spread friendship in general. The girls created five benches, which were given to all of the Moorestown public elementary schools, the Upper Elementary School and the New Albany Recreation Center.

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“A lot of people were saying that it was a good thing and that it was really impressive how much we could get done. We think it is no big deal. But when you actually think about it, a bunch of fifth graders doing something to better the community is a pretty big deal,” Katherine Braddzock said.

When Mayor Phil Garwood announced it was once again a Year of Kindness in Moorestown, the girls were inspired to spread kindness as well. The girls brainstormed to think of an idea that would help the community for years to come as well as represent kindness. They soon remembered the concept of a Buddy Bench, or in this case a Kindness Bench, and thought that was the perfect way to accomplish their goal.

With the help of parents and other generous donors, the girls acquired more benches than originally planned. At first they thought two would be good to add to the UES. However, five were acquired, so they had a lot of work cut out for them.

Luckily, the benches were in pretty good condition and just needed cleaning and sanding. The troop primed the benches, painted them and added a protective coating to prevent weathering.

Girl Scouts

The girls ended up putting in way more hours than required for the Bronze Award, working more than 20 hours each. Each bench was painted uniquely, some even representing the location the benches were going to.

The girls agreed the hardest part was sanding the benches. However, they had more favorite and fun moments than hard ones. They loved working together, designing the way the benches would look and painting them.

“My favorite part was when we all came together one day and we all just started washing, painting and sanding them. We had a lot of fun doing it. I think every kid should be able to do this because it is a lot of fun,” Isabella Baules said.

When they were finished, the girls were proud and amazed at the final product.

“It makes me feel like we’re doing something good for the schools here and the community, making everyone happy,” Hallie Hudson said.

The girls wanted it to be known that it wasn’t just them who did the work. A lot of their parents and community members helped.

“It’s not just us. It’s all of our troop leaders and parents who helped us along the way,” Braddzock said.

“Our moms are superheroes,” all of the girls said.

So far, the feedback on the benches has all been positive. They received a lot of positive feedback from passersby at Moorestown Day and on pictures on social media. Their parents said they were extremely proud of the girls.


When the girls dropped off the bench at George C. Baker Elementary School, Principal Michele Rowe thought it was the perfect addition to the school and was a great accomplishment by the girls. For now the bench is in the foyer under a plaque that says many positive things. Eventually, it may go outside of the kindergarten for the students to use.

“The purpose of the bench will fit perfectly here and the students will absolutely use the bench. Hopefully we’ll have it outside … I think that the kids will love it. It is perfect for this age where we try to teach kindness, adding to our lesson plan,” Rowe said.

The girls hope the benches remain and are taken care of, but also that even without the benches the message of spreading kindness will always be remembered.

“I hope in the future, that when we are not here to help out, that people will take care of the benches, and if they do get in bad shape will stay in good shape. So that everyone in our community can get along more,” Reagan Reiner said.

“I hope they inspire people to give back,” Ava Eaise said.

“It’s not all about the benches. It is about spreading kindness; you can do it without the benches,” Alessia McCracken said.


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