Back2Basics Project

Erin McKenney and Hannah Dowers, both Girls Scouts in Londonderry, are currently working on their Girl Scout Silver Award, which is the highest award that a Cadette Girl Scout can earn and is therefore a very distinguished honor. The Silver Award recognizes a Cadette Scout’s efforts in a range of Girl Scout and community experiences as well as her commitment to working to better her life and the lives of others.  The prerequisites are five-fold culminating with the project itself.  Girls must work closely with their adult advisor in order to complete requirements.  After working on and earning three interest project patches that correspond with the goals for the Silver Award, earning the From Dreams to Reality patch or Career Exploration Interest patch; the Cadette Girl Scout Leadership Award or Leadership Interest patch and the Cadette Girl Scout Challenge, the girls were finally ready to design and carry out their Silver Award Project.


Their project is called “Back 2 Basics,” and it involves the girls collecting new backpacks and new school supplies that they will distribute to three local non-profit agencies; New Horizons in Manchester, the Upper Room in Derry, and families in Transition in Manchester.


Project advisor Nancy DeLew has been working closely with the girls as they complete this final challenge for the award. While the goal is high, both Erin and Hannah are very excited to be helping provide new school supplies to students of all ages.  They know they can’t take care of everyone, but they love doing their part to help.  Agencies like New Horizons hopes to be able to provide 800 children with school supplies and the PTA also collects for their individual school needs.

On-going needs are as many new backpacks as they can collect and new school supplies for students pre-k to high school such as crayons, safety scissors, and glue for the younger grades to highlighters, pens, binders and calculators for the older students.

Donations are being collected until the first week in August, and there are many convenient drop boxes around town.  Collection boxes in Londonderry are at the Town Hall and Leach Library and in East Derry at the Taylor Library and at the Friends Diner in Allenstown.

Both girls have been seeking corporate donations as well as donations from local businesses.  The grocery stores in Londonderry and Staples are donating gift cards that the girls will use to purchase school supplies.  They are currently planning a fundraiser with crafts, stories, and games around the end of July.  More information can be found at their Facebook page “Back 2 Basics School Supply Drive” and the girls can be reached at


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