Girl Scouts Gold Award Project in Papillion: "A complete act of love putting this museum together"

Katie Finken, 17, organized a team of family and friends. Together, they spent a year-and-a-half working on the Marie Museum and TLC Welcome Center at Camp Maha.
Posted at 3:51 PM, Jun 19, 2024

PAPILLION, Neb. (KMTV) — In pursuit of her Gold Award Project, Girl Scout Ambassador Katie Finken, 17, assembled a team to preserve and organize memorabilia, and renovate the Marie Museum. The endeavor took a year-and-a-half. The museum reopens Saturday.

  • Guests are greeted through the TLC Welcome Center, in memory of Tyler Lin Cherrington.
  • As historical pieces go, Katie is most excited to share the signature of Juliette Low, the founder of Girl Scouts.
  • The museum reopens June 22, 1pm - 4pm, at Camp Maha in Papillion.

Continue reading for the expanded story, as it aired.
The crown jewel of this museum is one of the smallest pieces in it.

"We have an actual original signature from Juliette Low, our founder," Katie Finken, a Girl Scouts ambassador, beamed.

The cases weren't always here. A lof this didn't exist. Though, by name, it was a museum.

"It didn't feel like a museum. It also didn't feel like welcome center. It just kind of felt like a room with a bunch of Girl Scout stuff in it," Katie remembered.

A year-and-a-half-ago, the Millard South senior set out to make this her Gold Award Project: the highest award in Girl Scouting.

"I cannot put into words how proud I am of her," Erin Finken, Katie's mom and a Girl Scouts volunteer, said.

"Everything was her telling us what went where, what she wanted, how she wanted it. The audio tour was her idea, the sculpture was her idea. All of it," she continued.

Renovating decades-old buildings brings unique challenges. With the museum, Katie said it was the ceiling.

"You hold a level to it and it's all over the place. It's rough," she laughed.

Her hands touched every part of this project.

"She learned how to drywall, and she learned how to fit cabinets to the wall and a lot of woodworking," Erin explained.

Katie's dad and grandfather taught her those skills. Erin was the foreman. Katie's team consisted of 18 people, who together, invested 1,500 hours.

Such care.

Starting with the first thing guests see. It isn't that prized Juliette Low signature.

"The mural and the sloth. It's what it needed without knowing what it needed," Dave Cherrington said. "It had nice sparkles there before, and a nice plaque and it looked good. I just had no idea how much better this was gonna look."

The TLC Welcome Center is named for Tyler Lin Cherrington. She loved being a Girl Scout.

Dave's daughter was lost in a car crash in 2017.

"I don't want to say 'perfect' because everyone says 'the perfect kid.' But, she was better than both my wife and I. As we said... two wrongs made a right. She was really a good person. She was a caring person. And it is nice to see her legacy living on in some way," he shared.

Tyler spent many summers at Camp Maha, including as a counselor. She'd dress up like Rapunzel to the girls' delight. The colors and lanterns in the mural are a nod to that. The sculptural sloth represents Tyler's favorite animal.

"It was just a complete act of love putting this museum together," Katie explained.

The families share in wanting this to be a place for the entire Council, to honor the past and feel hopeful about the future.

The reopening is Saturday, June 22, from 1pm to 4pm at Camp Maha, 17114 S 63rd Street, Papillion. Virtual tours are also available. Learn more here.

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