18 caps off for girl scouts - stolle /mb/ab

Caps off for a cause

By Matthew Stolle

Girl Scouts are no longer just about selling cookies and raising money for their troops. Today’s scouts are also interested in keeping landfills, oceans and rivers clean for future generations.

That, in fact, was the primary impulse when the scouts of Troop 40082, made up of fourth- and fifth-graders from both St. Pius X Catholic and Bamber Valley Elementary schools, decided to go on a bottle cap collection drive called "Caps Off with Girl Scouts."


Regular bottle caps are made of plastic that can’t be processed by recycling machinery. As a result, the cap gets discarded, often ending up roadways, rivers and landfills. But the Girl Scouts of Minnesota and Wisconsin River Valleys are leading a recycling initiative that seeks to give discarded plastic caps a second life.

"It helps make other people aware of what the Girl Scouts can do, that they’re not just selling cookies and making money for their troop. I think it helps the girls understand that even though they’re fourth graders, they can really make an impact," local troop leader Amy Crowley said.

The 13 girls who make up the troop are collecting caps from bottles of water, soda, facial cleanser, laundry detergent, ketchup and shampoo/conditioner. Crowley said they are also getting the word out by addressing classrooms of their peers and leaving containers for caps to be put in. They are also drawing posters to be posted in their parents’ workplaces.

Each girl has to collect 25 caps to earn a patch. The collection week runs through April 28. The collected caps will eventually be delivered to Aveda, a company that sells beauty products in an environmentally sensitive way.

Crowley said there was a discussion among the girls about whether the collector with the most caps should get a monetary prize. But in the end, the girls decided it was enough just to know that they had done something for the Earth.

"They’re fourth graders. Its amazing to sit in a room and let the fourth graders do the talking," Crowley said.

For more information, call 1-800-845-0787 or e-mail

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