FARMINGTON — When Lauri Roberts-Nutt first walked into a pair of rooms at the Frontline Mission, there was nothing but bare, cracked walls and harsh lights. Some of the walls had holes.

But when the Farmington teenager was finished, the two rooms were decorated and each had three beds, new ceiling fans and lights.

Roberts-Nutt remodeled the two rooms as her project to earn her Girl Scout Gold Award, the highest achievement in Girl Scouting. Fewer than 6 percent of Girl Scouts earn the award each year, and most spend one or two years working toward it. The award is the equivalent of the Boy Scout's Eagle Award.

Roberts-Nutt will receive her award on April 20 at the Girl Scouts of New Mexico Awards and Recognition Ceremony.

The 18-year-old Farmington High School senior said that she got the idea for her project after she read in a newspaper that the Frontline Mission, 129 N. Behrend Ave., Farmington, needed help remodeling rooms to open a shelter for abused women and children.

Before it can open the shelter, the organization has a few more rooms left to remodel. Roberts-Nutt has asked to also help with those. In all, the mission plans to offer 10 rooms.

Roberts-Nutt described the original rooms as ugly with cracked walls. She said she learned a lot about the remodeling process while working on the project.

"I had to start with mudding and drywall," she said.

She later worked her way up to texture, painting, flooring and even picking out furniture.


"It took me over six months to complete," she said.

During those six months late last year and earl this year, she logged more than 134 hours.

At one point, she had to build a new door frame because the existing one was too large.

Now, one room is painted green and the other pink.

"I wanted kind of a calming, bright color," she said.

The green room has one normal twin bed and another that has a third bed that can be pulled out. The pink room has a bunk bed and a twin-sized bed.

Roberts-Nutt said getting everything donated for the rooms was the most difficult part of the project. She sought help from local businesses, but many refused to donate or would only give a small amount. Finally, she spoke to the manager at Home Depot, who agreed that the store would provide everything she needed.

In addition to her work to get the Gold Award, Roberts-Nutt has worked with her troop, Farmington Troop 71, to compile a directory of local businesses and phone numbers so that area Girl Scouts can plan trips and activities. She also learned to sew to make dog beds for a local no-kill animal shelter.

Roberts-Nutt said she plans to continue volunteering and helping people, even after she has graduates from high school and her troop. Next year, she plans to attend San Juan College and study nursing.

Working on community service projects, like remodeling the rooms, had taught Roberts-Nutt to help those in need, she said. And, she added that she likes to see people smile and to know that her work is making someone else happy.

"It makes me feel pretty good that I do it," she said.

For more information about the Frontline Mission and how you can help call Everett Griffith at 505-564-3740

Hannah Grover can be reached at; 505-564-4652. Follow her on Twitter @hmgrover