BUCKFIELD — Friday’s Day of Caring at Buckfield Junior-Senior High School took students into the town, down a couple of side roads and around the school’s well-known garden.

Everywhere, young people were busy repotting seedlings, creating colorful and imaginative scarecrows, placing flags on veterans’ graves and doing some building.

It was the students’ opportunity to become more connected with their school and their community.

Principal George Reuter said students sometimes don’t see that they can make a difference.

“We hope that they will feel connected,” he said.

Some students traveled with their advisory teacher and group to the small cemeteries in the town to place flags on the veterans’ graves, while another group traveled to Damon Cemetery to do the same. Others built a greenhouse for the school’s garden. Some visited the residents at Victorian Villa, while a few cleaned the former Tilton’s store.

“It’s fun and nice to do all this. It’s nice to know you did something for the community,” seventh-grader Chelsea Noyes said.

Juniors McKayla Darling and Cassandra Hardy were carrying a ladder back from the outdoor classroom after finishing up installing hurricane clips.

“I like being outside,” Darling said. “It was our class that started the garden in the seventh grade.”

Most agreed that getting outside, particularly during such a pleasant day, was a fabulous experience.

Cassandra Zak, a seventh-grader, said she really likes school, “but to get outside is wonderful.”

Creativity was rampant among many of the students as they fashioned scarecrows for the garden, which will likely be planted in early June.

One group built a Humpty Dumpty scarecrow. The girls did most of the sewing.

Another group was hauling Little Red Riding Hood to her position.

A group of middle school students were busy stringing large cans, which were soon to become a scarecrow clothesline that will hopefully frighten the black birds away from the vegetables. Its name was “I think I can, I think I can, scarecrows.”

Sophomore Cameron Stevens and several classmates were working to get “Arnold,” a whimsical traditional scarecrow with red, white and blue sparkly head gear, to stand up straight next to the garden.

“It’s been fun. It’s a good bonding experience,” Stevens said of the day’s events. He and others had painted the soccer goals earlier in the day.

Technology science teacher Caleb McNaughton said his class had started to build a greenhouse for the school garden, then other students helped out during Friday’s special day.

The greenhouse, located near the outdoor classroom and the acre-sized garden, is 12 by 24 feet and is semi-insulated, so McNaughton expects that students will grow vegetables into December, then start again in March for use in the school cafeteria.

“The kids have really taken ownership of it,” he said.

Other tasks completed during the day included yardwork around the municipal gazebo, painting and maintenance of the school’s athletic fields, and generally cleaning up the school grounds.


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