Lots of work for a playhouse, but Scouts don’t mind
Project to help raise funds for abused, neglected children
“Ouchee booboo” is not a term heard at a typical construction site.
But then, the backyard of Keith and Joyce Moore's house on West Kiowa Street is not a typical construction site.
The project - a child-size playhouse for charity - is being assembled by Girl Scout Troop 577 of the Wagon Wheel Council, of which Joyce Moore is troop leader. At that age (10 to 12), they are called Junior Girl Scouts.
And yes, “ouchee booboo” was uttered by one of them after a misguided hammer swing. Another of the scouts confessed to hitting a nail 105 times before getting it all the way in.
Not that such setbacks will deter the youngsters. They have personal goals of earning the Bronze Award - the highest possible honor for a Junior Girl Scout - meanwhile, they know the sale of their playhouse will benefit a program that helps alleviate child abuse in the community.
That program is run by Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of Colorado Springs, a non-profit organization whose volunteers represent abused and neglected children in the local court system.
CASA's main fund raiser every year is a raffle of playhouses built for that purpose by volunteers around the community. When Moore learned that fewer such playhouses were being built this year, she talked to her troop about the need. “The girls said, 'Let's do it,'” Moore reported.
It wasn't as simple as just finding some boards and getting out the saws and hammers. The effort started with the Scouts going out into the community, looking for funding help. According to Moore, the biggest donation, covering the bulk of the building supplies, came from Chuck Murphy, whose construction office has been located in the Midland area for many years.
Another major contribution has come from… Moore's husband. By happy chance, Keith Moore is a licensed architect. So he drew up the playhouse concept and design - an 8-by-8-by-12-foot wood-framed structure with a peaked roof, front porch and loft - pre-cut the lumber and has worked with the girls in the assembly process.
“They've learned how to use the Skil saw, hammers, screw guns and even the air nailer. A few were brave enough to give that a try,” he said. “The dads and moms help out with the work, but it's mostly the girls.”
In addition, the young Scouts have spent time going out and selling tickets for the raffle. In all, to qualify for the Bronze Award, each girl has to have spent 15 hours on the various aspects of the project, Joyce Moore explained.
The playhouse has taken shape over the past few weeks, with the 24 troop members broken up into three groups, each of which is assigned to come to the Moores' backyard for two-hour work sessions on Tuesdays, Thursdays or Saturdays.
“What's happening, they're so excited,” Joyce Moore laughed. “They're loving doing this so much, they're all coming to every one.”
Her daughter, Hannah, a sixth-grader at Holmes Middle School, is one of the Scouts. “I like it a lot,” she said of the project, mentioning the fun of joshing around with the other girls (about things like the 105 hammer hits) and the pride with which each worker can look at the playhouse and say, “I made this part.” While she's not planning on a carpentry career just yet, she observed that, “If I take a shop class, I will know some of the skills.”
The Troop 577 goal is to be finished by Sept. 8, with the project to be on display with other CASA playhouses at the Citadel Mall from Sept. 19 to Oct. 23. The raffle itself will be Oct. 23.
Westside Pioneer Article