Sydney Kent made a stitch in time and gave hospitalized teens a friendly warm embrace. Not only that, the 14-year old Girl Scout invited young patients to escape their hospital beds with the turn of a page.
You see, Sydney made more than a dozen fleece blankets and collected some 200 books, then donated everything to Children’s Hospital of Minnesota.
“Mom works at Children’s and she said people give baby blankets and toys for the babies and the little kids, but the older ones … not so much,” the Coon Rapids girl said, explaining the inspiration behind her giving project, which earned her the Silver Award for Girl Scouts.
The project took some five months to complete, since Sydney sewed each blanket and collected each book on her own. Sydney is a Juliette Girl Scout, meaning she sets goals, schedules activities and accomplishes achievements on her own, not as part of a Girl Scout troop.
“I was part of a troop earlier, but I just wanted to be a Juliette, so I went for it,” she said.
It was as a member of Girl Scout Troop 11238 that Sydney earned her Bronze Award for Girl Scouts, visiting residents of Epiphany Assisted Living facility with the other girls.
“We’d visit once a week for 12 weeks, playing cards with them, visiting, playing board games. They really liked having us come and we had a good time, too,” said Sydney, who’s been part of Scouting her whole life.
The Coon Rapids Middle School eighth-grader got involved in scouting as a kindergartner when she was a Daisy Scout. Next, she became a Brownie, then a junior Girl Scout, and now a cadet Girl Scout.
Once she enters ninth-grade, she will be a senior Girl Scout and can begin working on a project to earn her Gold Award for Girl Scouts. (That award is the Girl Scout equivalent of Eagle Scout status for Boy Scouts.)
“I just want to keep going with Girl Scouts and I’ll probably get my Gold Award when I’m 17,” Sydney said.
For her Gold Award project, the Juliette Girl Scout is considering improving soccer field signage at the Coon Rapids soccer complex or developing a larger children’s section at the Crooked Lake branch of the Anoka County Library system.
“I don’t know which yet, but either one would be a good project … would really help a lot of people,” she said.
As for helping on a professional level, Sydney dreams of helping animals as a veterinarian, ideally working in a zoo somewhere.
“That’s what I’d really like to do – work with medium-sized or small animals. That’s my dream: to become a vet in a zoo,” she said.
But for now, Sydney is busy with school work, playing trumpet in the jazz band, planning her Gold Award project, and taking care of her own pets (two dogs, a cat and a hedgehog).
Oh, and she continues to sew more fleece blankets and collect more books to be given to patients at Children’s Hospital.
“I still have fabric and kids still need blankets and books, so I’ll just keep going,” the Silver Award winning Girl Scout said.
Sue Austreng is at firstname.lastname@example.org