[All photos by Lori Mahan]
SARATOGA SPRINGS — Katie Ploss has been the troop leader of Troop # 3087 for the past three years. Her troop consists of 15 third graders who decided they wanted to build a Buddy Bench for their Greenfield Elementary School.
Lucy Ploss, one of the Girl Scouts, described the Buddy Bench as, “something that people can use to go to when they are lonely.”
The bench will be displayed on the playground for years to come. It is a place for any kid who is feeling lonely or left out to sit on and find a friend.
“The bench means that if someone is friendless they can go and somebody might sit down with them,” said Maya Balouskas, Girl Scout.
Ploss said that they started raising money for the bench in August; the girls decided a garage sale would be the best option for money raising and they all contributed items to sell in the Greenfield Town Wide Sale. By the end of the weekend, they had more than met their goal of $350. Once the bench was bought, the girls brought it to the school.
“We had every student in the entire school do a thumbprint in the shape of a rainbow on the back of the bench. We had a plaque made and then we put the school name on the back of the bench as well. Now the girls will implement how to use the bench. The principal has brought attention to the bench being outside and what it’s meant for, being kind and being there for people who are lonely,” Ploss explained.
“The Buddy Bench means kindness to me. Kids can have someone to play with and not be left out for the whole recess,” said Girl Scout Eliza Watson.
“The girls are doing a great job explaining to people what it’s used for and so for years to come it’ll be used by all the students in the school. We just really look forward to seeing it bring kindness. It’s really just about keeping the Girl Scout promise of being courageous, strong, friendly, and helpful, and the girls are doing a great job of showing how to carry that out,” Ploss commended.
In total, the bench cost approximately $350. The Buddy Bench can be found at the Greenfield Elementary School.