After the destruction of their plastic pink flamingos in February, a Girl Scout troop that uses the lawn birds as a fundraiser has restocked its flock, thanks to generous community members.
Since 2012, Girl Scouts of the Chesapeake Bay Older Girl Travel Group has raised more than $10,000 by “flocking” lawns with pink flamingos to help fund their trips, said volunteer group leader Janet Maher.
For a $40 donation, anyone can order a surprise flocking to celebrate a friend’s birthday or new baby, or just provide a good laugh, Maher said. Scouts leave a yard sign and flyer explaining the fundraiser, and they collect the birds 36 hours later.
The fundraiser season typically runs from May through September, Maher said, but she made an exception Feb. 3 for a Scout supporter who requested the flocking of a friend who would be returning home after surgery.
Shortly after Maher left about 70 birds on the friend’s lawn, police called her to ask about the flamingos, most of which had been thrown into the street and destroyed by persons unknown, she said. Replacing the flock, which was down to 30 birds, would cost over $200, and Scouts and their parents were upset by the vandalism, she said.
However, once word of the bird massacre got out, community members pitched in to help restock the flock by donating money and flamingos.
“We stopped counting when we got to 120 flamingos,” Maher said.
Randy Reed of Oak Creek Liquors purchased 48 new flamingos, Maher said, and realtor Deb Griffin of The Parker Group and Fred and Alyssa Pepper of Peppers Greenhouses donated funds to purchase a new sign, which was created by Jay Diaz at Print Coast2Coast.
“This is really important to the girls because, behind cookies, it's our biggest money-earning event,” Maher said. “We didn't run it last summer due to COVID concerns. COVID also limited their cookie booth options this past spring, and many were not able to work last summer.”
Scout Libby Houseman said she was ecstatic when she learned about the community’s donations.
“We had a big support system,” Libby said. “It was really nice that people cared.”
Because of the pandemic, the 2021 trip was moved to 2022, when 24 Scouts will travel to London, Paris, Switzerland and Italy. In 2023, 30 Scouts will travel to Italy and Greece. Additional trips are planned to Africa in 2025 and Australia in 2027, Maher said.
“Our trips are open to any registered Girl Scout in the Chesapeake Bay Council, so we have girls from Delaware, Maryland and Virginia going on trips, as well as any registered Girl Scout from neighboring councils,” Maher said. “We have had girls from both New Jersey and Pennsylvania councils travel with us in the past.”
To order a surprise flocking, call Maher at 302-258-3327.