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(Enlarge) Rebekah Stuckey, 16, of Eldersburg, created a Puppet Show for children ages 3 to 5 as part of her Gold Award project in Girl Scouting. Stuckey has performed her show, which focuses on good nutritional habits, at the Eldersburg Library. “It’s been so much fun,” says Stuckey, a member of Troop 1837. “I always s enjoy working with kids. I think it’s interesting to see how they view life versus how adults view life.” (Staff photo by Alex Stawinski)

Three little puppets, including one named Spud — a tuber afraid of becoming a "couch" potato — were a recent hit at the Eldersburg branch of the Carroll County Public Library.

Created by 16-year-old Rebekah Stuckey of Eldersburg, the puppets, along with a wealth of information about nutrition and the benefits of not smoking, appeared this past spring as part of Stuckey's quest for Girl Scout's highest honor — the Gold Award.

Similar to achieving the rank of Eagle Scout in Boy Scouting, the Girl Scout's Gold Award requires the completion of a project that benefits the community.

Ideas must be submitted for review and a minimum of 65 hours is required along with the completion of other badges, to qualify for the award.

"The hardest part was coming up with a project idea," said Stuckey, a member of Troop 1837.

"I knew I wanted to do something with kids," she added.

A self-described "passionate" vegetarian, Stuckey decided to address nutrition and healthy eating habits. At her troop leader's suggestion, she created her program to help Brownies, a younger rank in Girl Scouts, achieve a Try-It badge.

From the start, Stuckey also knew she wanted to do something with puppets. She found a video that helped her design the three puppets she uses in a skit she wrote for both preschoolers and the Brownies/elementary-aged children.

"I had a dietitian advisor double-check my facts," said Stuckey. "I had to get copyright permission to use pictures and dental charts."

Stuckey's nutrition-minded puppets debuted at the library with two shows. Close to 50 children attended the elementary-age show while about 13 preschoolers attended the younger show.

"The shows were very well-attended," according to Krystel Padilla, a children librarian associate at the Eldersburg branch. "(Stuckey) had a lot of good information and did a good job of changing the content for the age group."

Since then, Stuckey donated materials to the library to use as a continuing resource for youngsters.

With the completion of her presentation and donation, Stuckey is nearing the end of her path to Gold. She estimates she's invested more than 100 hours in the project. "It was a lot of work."

Involved with Scouts since the second grade, the rising Century High School senior has enjoyed the many challenges and opportunities the program has offered her.

"I've met a lot of people and made a lot of good connections," she said. "It's really fun."


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