Girl Scouts create ‘busy bags’ to keep kids occupied at emergency room

Thanks to the nine girls of Girl Scout Troop 5147 of Boyle County, visits to the emergency room will be made a little bit better for 100 children.

“Before we started selling cookies, I told them to come up with a problem, how we could fix it, why it was important and who was affected,” said Colleen Harris, troop leader.

Harris said she offered the idea of children needing something to do in the emergency room, after having to visit with one of her own children when they got sick. The girl scouts loved the idea.

The troop wound up creating 100 “busy bags” that can keep kids entertained and occupied if they wind up waiting in the emergency room.

“We wanted to help people,” said Jeleena Hawkins, 10, the second-highest seller of cookies in the troop.

Harris’ daughter Maggie, 8, was the top seller.

“I think it was a good project so the children in the hospital will be active and not get bored,” she said.

The girls sold 2,700 boxes of cookies to help fund the Busy Bag project.

When it came time to decide what went in the bags, Colleen Harris said, it was all up to the girls.

“We set a budget, they researched and shopped,” she said.

The girls placed Play-Doh, coloring sheets, a stuffed animal, crayons, a bendable stick figure, a bottle of water and a card from the troop in each bag. The bags are for children 3-years-old and up.

Harris said she was proud of the girls for the work they put into the project.

“I am beyond overwhelmed and impressed with what they have accomplished,” she said.