Girl Scout project builds and erects birdhouses in atrium

| 28 Sep 2011 | 02:56

MONROE-A Girl Scout Leadership Project involved girl scouts, senior citizens, boy scouts, family, and community in organizing, creating and erecting six bird houses in the Monroe-Woodbury Middle School Orange House Atrium. It took two years of preparation before Daina Migdel of Monroe could even apply to Sarah Wells Girl Scout Council’s Silver and Gold Award Committee for approval to begin her Silver Award Project. Beginning in 2002, Migdel chose three interest projects to work on and complete for the Silver Award. They were “Plant Life,” “Understanding Yourself and Others,” and “Outdoor Survival.” She earned her Program Aid Pin by working directly with younger girls under the supervision of an adult staff member. In addition, she helped teach soccer skills and drills at Birch Ridge Girl Scout Camp. Migdel acquired leadership hours and earned her Leadership Pin by working as a water safety aid at the Monroe-Woodbury Middle School pool during the summer. She fulfilled the requirements of the Cadette Girl Scout Challenge as well as the Dreams to Reality Award. Her Silver Award Project mentor was Marghi Ciccone, but Mori Binko supplied the general idea. Phone calls were made and letters written to organize and arrange dates, times, and places for meetings. At times, Migdel consulted with her mother Meryl Migdel, a veteran Girl Scout leader of 22 years. With recommendations from science teacher Giles Reimer, the coordinator of the beautification of the Monroe-Woodbury Middle School Orange House Atrium, Migdel discussed the number of bird houses needed, their placement within the atrium, and the burying depth of planting posts needed. She consulted with aviary expert Georgette Coates, who provided copies of the magazine “Birds in Bloom,” visited the Monroe Free Library for books on the subject, and researched on the internet for birds and bird houses, to learn about the types of local birds, the size needed for bird houses and entrance holes, what colors entice birds to build their nests within, types of weather resistant wood, and such relevant information. Migdel then talked with Ann Marie Morris, who arranged a conference with woodworker Mario Marmo. He reviewed the necessary materials she would need to purchase so he could build six bird houses. With the generosity of the Monroe Wal-Mart and Home Depot, and the help of Home Depot’s Stephen Maffei in selecting supplies and carrying lumber and cement, she then transported materials to her school. Marmo built the six bird houses, which were painted by herself, her mother, and aviary expert Coates. Weeks later, using their truck, teacher Reimer and his two sons helped transport six posts from her house to the school to erect the posts, with the help of scoutmasters Jon and David Woodhouse, Mary Kay Theoret, Dominic and Chris Dinapoli, George and Dan Molda, her brother Douglass Migdel (all representing Boy Scout Troop 340) and his girlfriend Stephanie Onorevole, school custodian Fermin Santana and his son Nicholas, her father and assistant scoutmaster Larry Migdel, and her mother. Six holes were dug, wood chips raked out of the way, cement mixed, and the posts measured, leveled and cemented into place. Once the cement was dry, soil was shoveled back over the cement and woodchips were raked back over the dirt. Several weeks later, her father helped Midgel to attach the bird houses to the posts with L-brackets. The total number of hours to complete her Silver Award Project was 75 hours and 16 minutes; the sense of achievement priceless. On Sunday, June 5, Migdel and sister scout Abby Feliciano from Troop 507 were honored with Silver Awards, along with other Silver Award recipients and Gold Award recipients from all over Orange County. They were bestowed with congratulatory acknowledgments from the White House and state and local government officials. Migdel follows in the footsteps of older sister Rena, who earned her Silver and Gold Awards in Girl Scouting, and brother Douglass, who earned his Eagle Scout Award in Boy Scouting. Community service is nothing new to Migdel. She has twice donated her hair to Locks of Love, and participated in community service projects such as Making Strides for Breast Cancer, Monroe Clean Sweep, Monroe Food Pantry collections, Monroe Unit Girl Scout Interfaith Service, and Baskets from the Heart, as well as supporting the U.S. military troops over seas and promoting Girl Scouting. Migdel has always been an honor roll student, and an active participant of many groups, including the high school’s drama club, freshman band and chorus, and Pep band; PTA basketball; American Youth Soccer Organization Soccer Club; New York State School Music Association; Monroe Temple of Liberal Judaism Torah Academy, choir and youth group; and the Future Business Leaders of America. Upon graduation, she plans to attend college and major in law.