Thanks to the generosity of a local Girl Scout troop, The Lamplighter School campus now includes a stunning new feature — a 21” diameter solar-powered birdbath. The birdbath was donated by Girl Scout Troop #4536 and installed on campus this spring. It sits on the west side of the Eastin Family Innovation Lab near the Ananya ’16 and Aashna ’19 Jain Teaching Porch.

When the pandemic swept the globe last spring, Girl Scout Troop #4536, comprised of mostly current Lamplighter fourth graders, had to cancel their spring campout. Now left with funds generated from cookie sales during early 2020, the troop had to decide how to reallocate the money. Girl Scout Troop Leader Liz Cullum Helfrich ’90 notes that “a huge part of our focus as a troop is on volunteering and philanthropy.” With this as their guiding principle, the troop came together (virtually) and voted to use their cookie money to help animals. Because the Girl Scouts organization prefers that the girls do something that makes a “permanent” change, the troop considered ideas that would make a long-term impact. The idea of donating a birdbath to Lamplighter was selected because it could last for many years versus donating bird seed or something that would be used up quickly.

After some initial research, the troop selected a two-tiered solar-powered birdbath with decorative turtles to donate to the School. The water in the bird birdbath recirculates via a small pump discretely placed under the solar panel, so no wiring is required. This generous gift is particularly appreciated by Lamplighter Environmental Science Teacher Linda Cauley, who shares that she “had been wanting another birdbath on campus where the children could see it in the prairie area.” Cauley notes that since “birds are attracted to moving water,” the solar-powered fountain will help create a new bird-watching area on campus. Until recently, the School had only one birdbath on campus near the bird observation area, which is located across the Murray Swain Ring Road. And while significant to the environmental science curriculum, the original birdbath was not easily accessible by students. The new birdbath donated by the Girl Scout troop was placed in an area which will get a lot of sun to power the pump, and will be more visible to students working in and around the Innovation Lab or wandering through the prairie.

Lamplighter extends its gratitude to Girl Scout Troop #4536 for their generous and thoughtful gift to the School. Not only will it enhance the science curriculum for our students, but it will also be enjoyed by many students, faculty, staff, and campus visitors for many years to come!