By Jacob Sturm
Mustang’s Public Library stands to be the beneficiary of a project stemming from one member of the Girl Scout Troop 358 as part of a Gold Award project in the works.
Keaton Flickinger, one of the original members of Girl Scout Troop 358, is providing instructional materials and tools for the Mustang Public Library and the public to use at their leisure. Troop Leader Jenny Matthews spoke to Flickinger’s passion for art as a driving force behind the project idea.
“She is an artist,” Matthews said. “She is going to be a sophomore at Mustang High School and has a huge passion for art and for sharing her passion with others. And (she) realized that people like to try a bunch of different art projects and don’t always have the means to purchase some of the supplies needed.”
Flickinger will be providing kits for the public’s use at the Library. Up to 15 people can work on a project at once.
Also, the project required recorded videos on Youtube that Flickinger created to help show how to use the tools in each kit.
“It took me a couple of days to do, but I would say overall maybe 6 or so hours of filming and editing,” Flickinger said. “And I wanted to do this since pretty much the beginning of the project because to get a Gold Award you need an education element. So, my education element was creating videos to teach people on how to use it.”
Flickinger pitched Art for All to the library, which will provide the library an opportunity to get art supplies and tools needed into as many people’s hands as they can. Flickinger had done her Bronze Award project with the Mustang Public Library, making for a relationship between the parties ahead of the Gold Award project. Sheila Barnard, the Youth Services Instructor at the Mustang Library, talked about Flickinger’s work and the impacts it has on the Library.
“She has done a really great job of going with the flow (allowing the library to tweak the idea), getting it all together,” Barnard said. “We’ve really enjoyed working with her.”
Barnard said the art projects will contain options for sculpting, foam printing, knitting, drawing, crocheting and Gelli Plates. There will also be a book in the library where the public can scan a QR code and access the instructional videos.
The Gelli Plates are an exciting addition to Barnard, who said she couldn’t recall any other libraries she has visited in the past few years having Gelli Plates as part of their tools on hand.
Barnard also mentioned additional programs that will see the benefits from the tools provided through Flickinger’s project and estimated 28 programs will be impacted before counting the Gelli Plates and the Foam Printing tools.
Barnard said Flickinger made the videos, made the flyers for the kickoff, made the book with the instructions and the QR code along with making the tools.
“A gold award recognizes a need in the community and helps fulfill that,” Matthews said. “And so, she partnered with the Mustang Public Library to help create her project, which she calls ‘Art for All’.”
The Gold Award requires a minimum of 80 hours to complete the project. Flickinger is well over 80 hours according to Matthews, and that is before her presentation of the work.
She also held a live presentation at the Library from 3 p.m. until 5 p.m. on July 15, when tables were set up in a back room of the library. Flickinger did Gelli Plate tutorials on that date, along with showcasing completed art projects that people can learn from using these kits.
“I’ve always just loved art my entire life,” Flickinger said. “And I know that sometimes it can be really hard to have access to art because it can be really expensive if you don’t know what kind of art you like. And so, I wanted to make art more accessible to everybody.”
As for the results, Matthews is seeing the project’s impact on Flickinger.
“She’s really kind of had to learn how to take charge, and it’s been a challenge for her and for her mom and myself to step back, but she’s really thrived,” Matthews said. “She’s done exceptional in making phone calls to people and making emails to people and following up with people. She’s learned so much leadership responsibility for this. It’s been awesome to watch.”
Girl Scout Troop 358 has members from Yukon, Mustang and Oklahoma City. The troop formed in September of 2014, with Flickinger being one of 48 girls currently in the troop.
In August, Flickinger will sit in front of the Girl Scout Gold Award Committee over a zoom call. She is required to submit all of her paperwork to the committee before the meeting, and then the committee will review all the work she has done for the project. That will include reviewing
the budget and getting the project signed off on by the library.