How a free pool day in North Dakota will benefit sea turtles in Hawaii

Community News

North Dakota, Dickinson, Foundation

  • Girl Scouts earned money to help fund a trip to support sea turtle conservation in Hawaii during a community pool event organized by Marathon Petroleum.
  • The girls netted about $2,000 by selling shaved ice, which put them at 65% of their fundraising goal.
  • The trip is planned in 2024 before the girls begin their senior year of high school.

A three-member Girl Scout troop in Dickinson, North Dakota, is closer to funding a trip to support sea turtle conservation in Hawaii after an end-of-summer community pool day. Marathon Petroleum Corp. (MPC) organized the event for Dickinson residents at a local outdoor pool complex, providing free public admission and prizes as well as arranging for Troop 86591 to use the gathering as a fundraiser.

“We began exploring this trip idea several years ago when the girls started focusing more on service projects than earning merit badges,” troop leader Tammy Sadowsky said. “We hope to go in the summer of 2024 before our girls begin their senior year in high school, and we wouldn’t be nearly as close to paying for the trip without the huge opportunity this pool day provided.”

“These girls deserved our support because of their desire to put in the work necessary to achieve a goal.”

About 400 people attended the event, which included a DJ and free raffles to win four bicycles. Almost a dozen employee volunteers from MPC’s Dickinson renewable diesel facility helped set up the site and manage activities. The Girl Scouts sold shaved ice from a machine the troop owns and uses as its primary source of fundraising. They earned about $2,000 at the gathering, bringing the amount saved for the trip to 65% of what is needed.

“These girls deserved our support because of their desire to put in the work necessary to achieve a goal,” said MPC HR Business Partner DeEll Jordre. “They handle everything for their fundraisers: ordering supplies, setting up, serving and cleaning up. In addition, they are active in our community.”

Among other service projects, members of this troop have collected food for a local food pantry, made and served food at a soup kitchen and presented educational programs for younger girl scouts. They have also donated time at a local Alzheimer’s residential facility, including working on crafts with residents and caroling during the holidays.

Looking ahead to 2024, the troop has researched sea turtle service opportunities on the islands of Maui and Oahu. Preliminary plans would involve the girls meeting with a sea turtle expert to learn about migration patterns and how the animals use beaches for nesting. The scouts would then assist with volunteer efforts, which could involve cleaning up beaches, roping off areas for the turtles and being posted at barriers to keep people away from nesting areas.

Sadowsky pointed to benefits far beyond the trip that will come from this fundraising journey.

“The girls are gaining great leadership skills, customer service experience and a basic understanding of how to manage a business and be an entrepreneur,” she said. “When they leave Girl Scouts, we hope to pass along this fundraising business to another troop, so they can have similar opportunities.”

Marathon employees Jacob Brock (left) and Casey Miller (right) with Amica Miller (center).
Marathon employee Tammy Haugen (left) with Bailey Haugen.