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Local Girl Scouts Honored for Silver Award Projects

Scouts work to raise awareness about homelessness; create artwork to provide hope for hospital patients and their families

Several local Girl Scouts were honored for their community contributions during the Simsbury Service Unit Annual Awards Ceremony at the Ethel Walker Chamber in Monday evening.

The scouts’ volunteering effort earned each one of the girls the prestigious Silver Award — the highest award a cadette-level scout can earn in the youth service organization.

Scouts from two different troops were honored during the ceremony, which was attended by numerous family members and friends, as well as Simsbury First Selectman Mary Glassman, Connecticut Girls Scouts Membership and Marketing Manager Loretta Lincoln and representatives from the VFW 1926 Ladies Auxillary Betty Forristall and Janice Higley.

During the event each of the girls provided an overview of their project, including a self-produced video retrospective of their work.

Several members of Simsbury Troop 66196 were recognized for their joint Silver Award Project: “Homelessness Awareness.”

The girls receiving the Silver Award from Troop 66196 were Lindsey Agnes, Divya Bana, Kavya Bana, Olivia Cantello, Julia Keppel and Kristen Mallery.

For their award project, the girls planned, organized and ran a Junior Girl Scout overnight workshop where the younger scouts earned their Homelessness Awareness Badge.

In addition to working with the Junior Scouts, the girls worked with the staff and residents of the Hartford-based South Park Inn Homeless Shelter to collect items the residents needed for day-to-day living.

As part of their effort, the scouts collected toiletries, towels and gift cards to donate to shelter.

The girls also planned, cooked and served a full lasagna dinner at Plimpton House, a rooming house affiliated with the South Park Inn.

And finally, the scouts used their troop money to purchase and develop 30 holiday gift bags for the Plimpton House residents this past Christmas.

“We just wanted to make their holiday a little bit brighter,” Julia Keppel said.

Girl Scout Emily Cole, a member of Troop 66139, was also honored Monday night for receiving a Silver Award.

For her award project, Emily worked independently to create Project HOPE (Helping Out a Patient’s Experience), an art installation at the Connecticut Children’s Medical Center in Hartford.

And although the scout independently planned and organized her project, she was not alone in developing the artwork that made up the installation.

For six months, Emily held what she called “Arty Parties” where the girl scout discussed with participants the value of art to help alleviate the fears and lift the spirits of hospital patients and their families.

And then the participants were invited to paint and decorate murals with a butterfly theme, which would form part of the art installation.

The parties were held at younger Girl Scout troop meetings, the Simsbury Public Library and the Hebrew Home for the Aged.

Through the project, Emily oversaw the creation of 12 mixed-media poster sized colleges that were installed at the hospital and on display for three months.

“It was interesting and really fun,” Emily said of her work on the project.

In addition to each of the girls receiving their Silver Awards, the scouts’ efforts also received official commendations from Gov. Dannel Malloy, Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman, the General Assembly and U.S. Rep. Chris Murphy (D-5).

Esther June 10, 2011 at 02:42 AM
It was with great pride that I attended the Silver Award ceremony. Emily, my granddaughter, is only 13 years old and accomplish a goal few older scouts manage to do.
Susan Schoenberger (Editor) June 10, 2011 at 12:25 PM
You must be very proud, Esther. The girls clearly worked very hard to accomplish their goals.

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