One Cherokee County Girl Scout is looking to attain the highest honor a girl scout can achieve and is interested in getting the public’s help as she works to achieve it.

Analise Black, a rising junior at Etowah High School, is nearing the finish line to earn the Gold Award, the highest award available to members of the Girl Scout organization. As part of the requirements needed to earn this honor, Black had to come up with a special service project that would benefit the community at large. With that in mind, she decided to bring a fairy house trail to Lewis Park in the southwestern portion of the county, enhancing the experience for the park’s visitors.

On Aug. 10, Black will be holding a demonstration event at the park, inviting members of the public and their children to come out and observe how to build a fairy house, after which participants will be encouraged to take natural debris already on the ground and use their imaginations to construct their own fairy houses. While this will add to the beauty of Lewis Park, there is more to this addition than simply making the park that much nicer.

“My project is focusing on the fact that elementary-aged children in modern times do not have as many opportunities to use their imaginations as they did in the past,” she said in an email. “My goal with the fairy trail is to help increase the physical activity children receive and to stimulate their imaginations.”

When developing the project, Black said she felt her project would be able to address the issue of a relative lack of imagination by getting children out into nature and away from various technological devices. In a brochure she created to encourage attendance, Black cited various statistics from researchers who have found children who spend an excessive amount of time on devices can lead to a decrease in critical thinking skills, creative thinking skills, attention problems and disrupted sleep cycles. Therefore, by encouraging children and their families to come to her demonstration and then build their own fairy houses, this can help combat issues caused by too much screen time.

Black’s demonstration event on Aug. 10 at Lewis Park will begin at 10 a.m. and run until noon. The public is welcome to attend and be involved, exercising their bodies and minds while adding something new and enjoyable to the park.

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