By Kayleigh Jones

The months of August, September and October bring many wonderful things each year: a new school year, the fading of summer heat and the beginning of bat removal season. The longer someone lives in our community, the more likely it is that they or someone they know has experienced bats in their attic. Although it is not unusual, hosting nocturnal uninvited guests in your attic is never pleasant. An attic is an adequate choice for displaced bats, as they seek shelter and warmth. 

As suburban development expands, so does deforestation, compromising bat habitats. Fortunately, local Girl Scout Troop #33521 has produced a unique solution, the Bat Box Hotel, as part of their Bronze Award Project. The Girl Scouts and their leader, Melissa Sharma, constructed bat houses on Lyna Berry Farms, located in Lithia, to provide shelter for bats affected by deforestation and hopefully keep more bats out of attics. The aim of the Bronze Award Project is for Girl Scouts to go out into their community, identify a problem and provide a remedy, and Troop #33521 did just that. 

“From beginning to end, they understood the importance of the environment,” said Sharma. 

The Girl Scouts completed the seven steps outlined in the Bronze Award Project over the course of a year with the goal of offering a solution to an issue impacting their community. The seven steps were as follows: taking part in the Take Action Project, in which they computed tree heights for the NASA scientists’ database; assembled their Junior Team, explored their community; traveled to the Tybee Island Marine Science Center; learned how to handle a bat at the Owls’ Nest Sanctuary for Wildlife; chose the Bat Box Hotel as their project; devised a plan; put that plan into action; and lastly spread awareness about their project. 

“I enjoyed learning about the bats, and how to protect them,” said seventh-year Girl Scout Sanibel Miller. 

The girls found it exhilarating to witness the fruits of their work, and the leaders found it fulfilling to see the girls’ confidence grow and embrace girlhood together. For more information, please contact Sharma at

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