Washington Township Troop #94094
Margaret Grace Layfield
“Learning and the Arts Outdoors”
Maggie (Margaret) Layfield is a junior at West Morris Central High School and is part of the International Baccalaureate Career-Related Program. She is a member of the Long Valley Juniorettes, Long Valley Kids 4 Kindness 4-H Group, and St. Luke’s Youth Group (God Squad) where she volunteers her time to help others. Maggie continues to be part of Central Theatre at WMC where she has participated in the Fall Dramas and Spring Musicals as well as other productions. She is a dancer, a member of three choir groups at WMC, and has performed in the Morris Area Honors Choir.
Maggie is a member of Troop #94094 and joined scouting in 2011 when she moved to Long Valley, NJ. Maggie earned her Silver Award by creating the B.E.S.T Bus Program with two fellow scouts at Cucinella Elementary School. The program focused on creating a positive environment on the buses and improved safety for the bus drivers and the students. She has volunteered many hours on projects such as Clean Communities and Food Drives.
Maggie earned her Gold award by designing and building an outdoor educational and performing arts center at Cucinella Elementary School. She combined her experience in the performing arts and her love for the outdoors for her idea. She realized the importance for giving children a place to express themselves while simultaneously getting outdoors and taking a break from technology. The area consists of two rows of benches placed in a semicircle facing baseball fields, a pond, pastures, and hills behind the school. Each of the 7 benches can hold 3-4 children and is permanently installed in the ground with posts and cement. To help encourage creative use of the area she created a list of ways it may be used and developed a survey for teachers that have used the area to generate more ideas. The area is allowing students and teachers to experience the outdoors while enhancing learning, and encouraging artistic expression. The survey feedback indicated the teachers are using the space for science lessons, art lessons, to resolve conflicts on the playground, for bird observations, to encourage reading, perform theatre, and just as a calm place to relax.