ABERDEEN, S.D. (AP) — Bored is not a word you're going to hear from Jessalyn Fischer.

The incoming Simmons Middle School eighth-grader is a dancer, a BMX racer and an active Girl Scout.

Those who visit Centennial Village can notice her handiwork as a scout. She restored one of the wagons at the east of the grounds for her Silver Project last year as a Cadet.

"We had to figure out something that we were passionate about and find a problem," Jessalyn said. "I figured out that this wagon and the two over there were not safe, and I had seen someone climb on them so I decided that I should try to figure out a way for them to be safer."

The wood on the old luggage cart was rotting, she said.

The project started with a measuring tape — Jessalyn said she needed to know the size of her replacement boards — and then ripping out all of the old wood. Measurements in hand, a trip to Menards was in order.

"She did it all by herself," said Heidi Fischer, Jessalyn's mom. "I did not help her at Menards or anything. I made her do it."

An associate at Menards helped her pick out green treated wood, so it will last longer than the boards she tore off, Jessalyn said.

"We just went to Menards, went up to that counter thing and were like, 'Yo, what do we get, because I don't know what I'm doing,'" she said. "And then they were really helpful figuring out what I needed."

They picked a teal and red-orange for stain and paint on the wagon, so it stands out among the weathered buildings at Centennial Village, which is in the southeast corner of the fairgrounds.

The whole project was completed on site, Jessalyn said.

"And then our power tools died, so then we did everything by hand," she said. "It was fun. I enjoy doing things by hand."

Outside of scouts, Jessalyn said she does a lot of volunteering at Centennial Village. She was helping clean up before the fair. She has plans to restore a similar, smaller wagon at the village yet this year.

"I learned so much doing this," Jessalyn said.

When she's not busy with scouting endeavors, Jessalyn said she's dancing and riding BMX. She'll be on the high school dance team this year, and she's ranked No. 1 in the state in BMX in her age group right now. She's also involved in theater and track and field at Simmons.

She's been involved with Girl Scouts since kindergarten, Aberdeen American News reported.

"It's helped me with a lot of stuff," Jessalyn said. "Money management, I can start a fire, I've met a lot of great people and cookies — cookies are awesome."

There are three levels of projects a Girl Scout can complete — bronze, which is a service project done as a troupe; sliver, which has to solve a problem and can be done in a small group; and gold, which has to be done alone and be sustainable, meaning someone else could take it over, Jessalyn said.

"I'm going to go for my gold award," she said. "I can get that when I'm a (high school) freshman."

She enjoys pastimes like woodworking that are traditionally thought of as masculine.

"If I can do it, anyone else can do it," Jessalyn said.

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Information from: Aberdeen American News, http://www.aberdeennews.com

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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