Nurturing creativity lies at heart of Girl Scout’s Gold Award

MERRIMACK – Inspired by her love of the arts, one Merrimack Girl Scout made it her mission to ensure the next generation of students attending Wasserman Park’s recreation programs would have a place to nurture their creativity.

Megan Murphy, a senior at Merrimack High School and a Girl Scout since kindergarten, dedicated most of her weekends over the 2014-15 school year to remodeling the park’s long-neglected arts and crafts building.

"It was a dull and uninviting place," said Murphy, who works as a counselor in the park’s summer program. "But I knew with the right care, it could become a place of creativity for the children who use it throughout the year."

In the many weeks leading up to the summer season, the 17-year-old painted walls, resurfaced floors, scrubbed counters, painted a colorful mural, and constructed new benches and tables, enlisting the help of classmates in Merrimack High School’s National Art Honor Society and National Honor Society chapters.

After putting more than 90 hours into her project, the local recreation facility had a successful makeover – and Murphy earned her Girl Scout Gold Award.

"It’s a much more inviting place to be now," Murphy said.

The longtime Girl Scout said she was initially perplexed at the prospect of choosing her Gold Award project. That all changed last year, when she attended a ceremony for previous Gold Award recipients and had an epiphany.

"I realized that there are things all around me in need of repair," Murphy said. "I realized that the opportunity to make a difference in my favorite camp building – a building I use regularly – was right in front of me!"

Murphy, who hopes to enroll in business studies after graduating from high school this spring, said her years in Girl Scouting have readied her for leadership roles.

"I’ve had so many wonderful experiences, including running sessions at our annual camporee," she said. "I am so, so fortunate."