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Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Bat Houses

To finish up our Woodworker Badge, the girls made Bat Houses!  The girls are working on their Silver Award and this is one of their beginning steps.  There are a lot more to go, they are making decent progress though.

The girls have met their prerequisites for the Silver Award:  they are in seventh grade, they are registered Cadette Girl Scouts and they have completed a Cadette Journey.

The first step to the Silver Award is to identify a problem they are passionate about.  The girls are passionate about animals in our area.  Alli likes bats. Abbi likes bats. We have bats everywhere.  Bats are important.  They are pollinators and seed dispersers.  They eat pesky bugs (I.e. Mosquitos) and they are very important in the cave ecosystem. 

Bats carry lots of myths about them.  Like the carry rabies.  Only .5 of 1% of bats have rabies.  That's a super small percentage.  People are scared of bats because of this.  Also, that they are vampires.  They have powers to transform themselves into human form and drink blood.  Bats are not blind, they just can't see color.  They also won't fly in your hair and get caught.  They can detect and avoid things as small as a piece of hair. 


Base of the Bat House
The second step is to build a team.  Alli and Abbi are on this team.  They verified the other night that two of the other girls will also be on the team.  Two of the girls in the troop have decided to break off and do their own project.  Something to help students that fidget in class.  I have no idea.  They were trying to explain it and I was lost.
Using the caulking gun to seal all the holes.  Bats like warm and safe and dry places.

The third step is to explore the community.  The girls have looked around and discovered there are not very many bat houses in the area.  The girls would like the houses to go into an area where the bats will have a safe place to live.  The girls would like to have a conservation program where they make a presentation and then give the bat houses to the area that lets them hang them.  We are still working on finding a place.  We had originally wanted them placed in the Girl Scout camp but that was quickly shot down by council.  It is what it is.

Step four: Pick a project.....I was ahead of myself and described it above.  They have also moved on to Step five to develop the project and step six is to create a plan of action and put it in motion.
Screwing in the slats.
Filling all the holes.
Putting in the mesh.  The purpose of the mesh is to help the bats cling and climb up into the house.
Scissor safety!
Using the vise grips to make sure the wood is secure before screwing it in.
Expert woodworker already.

Finished Bat Houses!
The meeting before the Bat Houses, we went to a local Home Depot and did a scavenger hunt.  Alli and Abbi made up this scavenger hunt.  I didn't save it on the computer.  They had to find all the tools that are described in the badge.  They had to compare hard and soft woods.  They had to find levels and price them.  They also had to make sure the shelving was level at the Home Depot.  It was pretty even.

The Girls are meeting soon to apply for a $100 grant to build more bat houses.  We are making them do all the paper work and the proposal for the project.  The $100 will go a long way in creating the bat houses and putting a program together.

12 comments:

  1. I LOVE this! What a great and impressive project. I've wanted a bat house, especially when we used to live in the sticks with all the mosquitoes.

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    1. I love the fact that they eat all the mosquitoes around our house. We have a creek, so they can get bad at times.

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  2. Good for them! Since we bought a house with several acres in middle TN, we want to put up bat houses. I plan to have hubby make them.

    DB McNicol, author & traveler

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    1. That is awesome! We found the instructions on a bat conservation website. The girls had a great time putting them together.

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  3. Bats are my favorites! When my children were younger and we'd go to the zoo, i'd let them play on the playground for a while as i watched the bats at the bat house where i could see the kids, too. Eventually the children would come over and we'd all watch the bats for a long time.

    Good luck getting the grant and finding places to hang your bat houses. If you were near me, i'd lobby to have one!

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    1. I have an idea for a place. I'm going to visit it this weekend and see if it's a place the girls would want to put them.

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  4. This is so awesome! Congrats to the girls so far on all of their hard work and putting all of this together. I'm a little shocked that the Girl Scout council said no to them hanging a bat house there, though. Girl empowerment ftl? :-/ At least it encourages them to ask around the community. I'm especially impressed at how hard they are working for the $100 grant to continue their project. Good for them! And for their parents and leaders who are encouraging them! :)

    With Love,
    Mandy

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    1. I hope they do get the grant. They are submitting the information next week.
      The camp said it was because they were making improvements on the camp?!?

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  5. What a great project! It doesn't make,sense that your council wasn't on board. Bats are extremely beneficial to the environment. I don't remember the dates, but I think bat week is coming up. (I wrote a post about it last year and learned a lot about these critters.)

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    1. I will have to see when Bat Week is! Maybe the girls can incorporate it into their project. I love bats and all they do for the environment.

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    2. Do you have a link to the post? I would like to read it :)

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  6. What a great project! It doesn't make,sense that your council wasn't on board. Bats are extremely beneficial to the environment. I don't remember the dates, but I think bat week is coming up. (I wrote a post about it last year and learned a lot about these critters.)

    ReplyDelete