My project was designed to support the newly constructed Healing Garden for children at the University of Florida Shands Pediatric Hospital.
I created a safe activity, using natural materials, and painted each of 12 large rocks with a point of the Scout Law, and hid them around the garden. I created a YouTube video for social media, and put out a contact-free call for volunteers to hand paint motivational and encouraging messages on smaller hand size stones, and collected almost 700 to use as prizes for the children who complete the scavenger hunt. Scouts and volunteers from 11 troops and six states participated!
It was so exciting to get hand painted boxes of rocks in the mail! Each small Healing Stone is carefully made with love, and designed to give the children a choice in picking their own piece of encouragement for their healing journey.
Including the Scout Law into the Healing Garden makes the project so special to me. I sustained a brachial plexus nerve injury at birth, and was in and out of several different hospitals and clinics, from birth until around 11 years of age; for treatments, casting, splinting, physical and occupational therapy. Having had that experience myself, I know how stressful it can be for children, and I wanted to give back to my community in a way that I found meaningful.
— Olivia, Troop 9021, Gainesville, Fla.