By Allison P.

The Girl Scout Silver Award is the second highest award of the Girl Scouts of the USA, and the highest award that a Girl Scout Cadette can earn. This can be earned independently, or with a small group. Currently, three Cadettes – Allison P. (independent Girl Scout – also called a Juliette), Rebecca R. and Katlin W. (both of Cadette Troop 658) are collaborating on their Girl Scout Silver Award Project titled Skunk Habitat and Education for Nature’s Classroom. The girls chose this project because they all share the same passion and concern for animals.  

The current skunk habitat at Nature’s Classroom was not designed specifically for a skunk and is currently occupied by an Opossum. The team received donations from several local businesses to purchase Florida native plants which would place the skunk in an environment with a natural outdoor habitat. Thanks to the generosity of Riverview Family Chiropractic, Boyette Animal Hospital, Abdoney Orthodontics, Christian Bros. Automotive, and Craft Promos, the girls were able to purchase and hang feeders, build toys for animal development and enrichment and design a shelter for the skunk/opossum. In addition, they researched educational information for the sign displayed at the habitat, therefore, presenting Hillsborough  County students that visit Nature’s Classroom with informational facts about skunks. 

The skunk habitat is part of the Youth Education Program for Hillsborough County students at Nature’s Classroom. Nature’s Classroom will host its annual Open House which is free to the public on Saturday, April 16 from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Nature’s Classroom is located at 13100 Verges Rd. in Thonotosassa.  The girls will be at the Open House to promote their Girl Scout Silver Award Project – Skunk Habitat and Education.  

These Cadettes are part of the Fossil Valley Community of the Girl Scouts of West Central Florida.  Comprised of approximately 400 scouts ranging in grade level from Kindergarten to high school senior, Fossil Valley Girl Scouts, with support from the council, helps develop girls of courage, confidence, and character, poised to become tomorrow’s leaders. 

For more information about how to get involved with Girl Scouts, visit

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