If you find yourself hiking the Stevens-to-Stevens Trail in North Andover, MA, prepare to enjoy its latest twist—a town history lesson! Thanks to Gold Award Girl Scout Amy G. and her “History Hike” project, the community can boost their physical activity and their brains on this scenic path.
Amy, whose sister Margaret earned her Gold Award in 2018, wanted to combine two important causes into her project to help the residents of North Andover: physical activity and preserving local history.
“Many people, from kids to adults, are not living healthy lifestyles,” says Amy. “It has become a bigger issue in the last decade, as we have seen an increase in obesity, the amount of food one consumes, and less time spent outside being active due to technology.”
Amy decided to add a walking history lesson to the 1.3-mile Stevens-to-Stevens Trail, which starts at Stevens-Coolidge Place and ends at Stevens Pond (an easy-level hike for all ages). “Our town’s history is very rich and very interesting; it is important to know who came before us and what our town used to look like,” says Amy.
First, Amy compiled a team for her project, including peers from her school’s National Honor Society, and then collaborated with the North Andover Historical Society and the Trustees at Stevens-Coolidge Place.
Amy researched a variety of North Andover’s most renowned buildings, events, and people, and created 18 pages that detail a part of history.
Along the trail, Amy and her team built and attached wooden brackets to existing map stands, where the pages of her “History Hike” now hang for people to read along the trail. There are seven map stands with three sets of the pages that will be changed throughout the year, plus a “History Hike” fun page for children.
She will continue to update the trail’s history pages until she graduates high school this spring, at which point the Trustees at Stevens-Coolidge Place will take it over. Amy will be honored by Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts at Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts’ Gold Award ceremony this June. The Girl Scout Gold Award is the organization’s highest recognition for individual community service leadership, requiring high school students to dedicated 1-2 years (80 hours) on project that identifies a problem and provides a sustainable solution for lasting change. gsema.org/goldaward
“Girl Scouts is a huge part of my life,” says Amy. “I was able to go to Girl Scout sleepaway camp, learn how to snorkel, and impact so many people’s lives. Girl Scouts has helped shape me into the person I am today and I am forever grateful for it.”