Girl Scouts of Cranford honors Silver Award recipients – Union News Daily
CRANFORD, NJ – Cranford Girl Scout Duty Unit 48 announced that 24 of its members recently won the Silver Award, which is the highest honor a Cadet Girl Scout can receive. To earn the honor, cadets identify an issue they care about, research it, and take action. Cadets, who are in grade six, seventh or eighth, work alone or work together in small teams to win the award. The projects, which require a minimum of 50 hours of volunteer work, have met a wide range of needs, from supporting veterans to helping children in need.
“Due to the pandemic, we were unable to recognize and celebrate our Silver Award recipients until the start of the summer, so this group reflects the value of two years of hard work and service,” said Elayna Torsone, Head of Service Unit 48. “We are so proud of the Girl Scouts and their volunteer counselors for their commitment to the community and for identifying areas where they could have a positive impact.
“Turn off, charge! Was the name of Gianna Pantastico’s project. Gianna has met more than 100 children in a series of book clubs, with the aim of motivating children to read and encouraging them to spend less time on devices such as phones and tablets. Gianna is a member of Troop 40814.
Katelyn Shaw of Troop 40332 focused her project on helping children. As part of her efforts, she created 13 Family Game Night Baskets which were given to families on the day of their adoption. She has also volunteered with Cranford Soccer Club’s TopSoccer, a community-based team training and placement program for young athletes with special needs.
Hannah Symanski of Troop 40444 wanted to honor her grandfather’s legacy, a veteran, while meeting a community need. His plan was to beautify the Cranford VFW Post 335.
Breona Pizzuta of troop 40814 also honored the veterans with his project. She organized a “Palooza Veterans Day” which included educational elements as well as a card-making event.
Emily Doyle of Troop 40583 emphasized friendship. She built two 4-foot friendship benches and donated them to Saint Michael’s School in Cranford. “I hope the students can talk to each other and make new friends,” said Emily. “Sitting on the bench can also let other students know that a friend is there for them. “
Julia Cook of Troop 40693 has created a series of events to safely connect different age groups during the COVID-19 crisis. Projects included painting pumpkins for the elderly, Christmas carols, and card making for cancer patients.
Jacklyn Kamm of Troop 40693 collected supplies for a local animal shelter and donated to benefit wildlife affected by wildfires in Australia.
Rachel Westervelt of Troop 40753 taught fellow Girl Scouts how to cook, so they could support friends and family in need. She was inspired after seeing how her own grandparents benefited from meal assistance during a difficult time.
Georgia Barnhard, a Juliet Girl Scout, has created a small, free library in her neighborhood to encourage reading and build community connections. Girl Scout Juliettes are not affiliated with a specific troop but are registered members.
A group of seven cadets from Troop 40951 focused on Cranford to create social studies resources for third and fourth graders. They created a pamphlet called “Cranford Through the Ages,” to complement the New Jersey history curriculum. Plus, they developed a history lesson that included notable township women, historic sites, and important events. Grace Donnelly, Maeve Higgins, Abigail Maroney, Sabrina Prata, Adela Rakoski, Madelyn Swanson and Alexandra Toto collaborated on the project.
Ava Lanier and Leah Rogers of Troop 40583 focused on the importance of dog adoption and rescue. In addition to creating a website and educational programs, they had a collection that resulted in a donation of $ 1,300 in supplies to local animal rescues.
Four cadets from Troop 40693 used their creative talents to add inspirational quotes and illustrations at Livingston Avenue School in Cranford. The messages focused on sportsmanship, kindness and the pursuit of success. Julia Billow, Sarah Butka, Kristen Fries and Lily Goodwin collaborated on the project.
The Girl Scouts of Cranford has over 1,139 members in 71 Troops and Juliets, making it one of the city’s largest nonprofits. The Cranford service unit is part of the Girl Scouts Heart of New Jersey Council, which is part of the Girl Scouts of the USA. To learn more about the Cranford Girl Scouts, visit www.cranfordgirlscouts.com.
Photos courtesy of Kerry Rokicki