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By: Rachel Henderson

Making a Trap Locally, Saving Lives Globally

June 8, 2017
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Springhill 5th Grade Girl Scout Troop 33005 receives more than just the bronze.

Embarking on their last year at Springhill Elementary in Lafayette, CA, seven classmates from Troop 33005 met to discuss their Girl Scout Bronze Award. With the community in mind, the girls individually presented their ideas for this project to the troop. These ideas ranged from helping both children and adults with disabilities, to those in need, to various ways to help animals. But one particular presentation seemed to touch the girls’ hearts – learning about and potentially helping to stop the spread of malaria in places like Sub-Saharan Africa.

After the topic was voted upon, the girls formulated a plan of action. They set up an interview with Chris Helfrich, Director of the UN Foundation’s Nothing But Nets Campaign

Here is the recap of their project directly from the girls of Troop 33005:

Before our interview with Chris we brainstormed ideas to talk with him about. When he came he told us about the organization and we asked our many questions. He was kind, courteous and very patient! From the information that he gave us we were excited and wanted to plan an event to support Nothing But Nets.

We had another meeting to decide what type of event we were going to host to advocate for Nothing But Nets. After discussing a lot of ideas, we initially decided to have a basketball shoot-a-thon during lunch time at Springhill Elementary as well as donation jars in each classroom. 

Here in Lafayette, we don’t have to worry about malaria, but mosquitoes can carry diseases such as West Nile virus and a bite can be rather unpleasant. It can also spoil your picnic or outdoor birthday party! We learned about the mosquito life-cycle and how to reduce or prevent mosquitoes from being in our back yard. To learn more yourself, you can visit

We also researched remedies for eliminating mosquitoes. For instance, the smell of bay leaves can be a deterrent. We decided to make and try out a mosquito trap made from recycled 2-liter bottles as seen here:

In April, the Springhill Green Team planned to hold a plant sale at the school. We thought this would be a great opportunity to show what we had learned about malaria and how mosquitos can affect us locally.  At the sale we set up a booth with homemade mosquito traps and instructions on how to make them. We gave away the sample traps and we shared information about local resources as well as Nothing But Nets.

Troop 33005 decided to donate $500 to Nothing But Nets from their treasury money that was collected over the last three years from cookie sales.

Everyone can be a Nothing But Nets Champion! From scout troops, to summer camps, to swimming pools, our champions will use any venue to get the word out about the importance of using bed nets to protect against malaria and save lives.

Is there something you can do to spread awareness about malaria in Sub-Saharan Africa and help send nets to families? Do you have an activity or skill that you are passionate about? How can you engage your friends and family to raise nets? Learn how YOU can get involved today!

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