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Featured Award Story

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First Name: Annemarie

Troop #: 95004

Grade Level: Girl Scout Junior (Gr 4-5)

Title: Troop 95004 Earns Girl Scout Bronze Award

Girl Scout Junior Troop 5004 from Green Township recently earned their Girl Scout Bronze Award. For their project, the troop chose to help the Ronald McDonald house, which provides families of children being treated in nearby hospitals with a place to stay for just $15 per night and includes free daily meals prepared by volunteers.

With the help of Green Hills School, the girls collected over 300 items for the charity. They are thankful to their school and all who supported them in reaching their goal and were excited to bring the truckload of items with them to the Ronald McDonald house in Philadelphia, when they went to be Guest Chefs for dinner in June.

The girls and their moms (and one very special sister) prepared dinner for 40 people and conducted activities for the children. They were moved by the people they met at the House, by the kindness displayed in its offered amenities, and in learning that a large amount of daily operational costs are provided by continuous public donations. The troop was happy to have the opportunity to help.

First Name: MaryBeth

Troop #: 4360

Grade Level: Girl Scout Junior (Gr 4-5)

Title: Rockaway Girl Scout Troop 4360 Earns Bronze Award

When the girls of Troop 4360 discovered that there are parents in their local community who cannot provide their babies with basic necessities like diapers and wipes, they developed a Take Action plan to address the issue’s root cause.

The troop met with Jayne Morris, a director at North Porch Women and Infants’ Center in Dover. They learned about the needs of infants and how North Porch helps needy families who are in emergency situations, fill the gap with diapers, wipes, formula and baby food. The troop also discovered that North Porch replies on donations and that the need is constant.

The troop decided to host a baby shower to collect items for North Porch. They invited other local Girl Scouts to attend their event requiring each attending guest to bring a shower gift (diapers, wipes, formula or baby food) for North Porch. The troop members handmade favors, came up with baby shower games, crafts and activities. They baked and decorated cupcakes to serve. The baby shower event was hosted on Mother’s Day weekend and was met with great success. The troop members delivered the collected items to North Porch where they sorted and took stock of their donations happily discovering that they had provided North Porch with enough supplies to last them until August. The troop was supported in their Bronze Award effort by Mary Beth Ramsay and Colleen Grow, Troop 4360 leaders.

The members of Rockaway Troop 4360 used their strengths, talents, and skills and put their plan into action to earn the Bronze Award while each taking a leadership role.

First Name: Gianna

Troop #: 94248

Grade Level: Girl Scout Junior (Gr 4-5)

Title: Everyone Has A Need- Girl Scout Bronze Award Project

For our Bronze Award, our Junior Troop decided that we were going to help the hungry people and homeless pets in our area because "Everyone Has A Need".

We started our project by brainstorming ways that we could collect food. One of our troop members suggested that we could have a food drive in front of Tons Of Toys, our local toy store. We created posters marketing the food drive that we would later put up to advertise. We then had a troop member read about our food drive on our school's morning announcements so that students learned about it.

At our first food drive, we collected food and donated Girl Scout Cookies to give to the Interfaith Food Pantry. Many of our customers donated an extra box to us. This was impressive as these people don't normally have such a treat.

Then, for the month of March, we set up collection boxes at our school, Central Avenue Elementary. One of our leaders helped us to get in touch with the School PTO so that we could advertise through Facebook. The collection boxes were about 24x30 and we filled one up! These boxes sat beyond the end date as they were such a success. When we picked them up, we needed a leader to help us.

In April, we visited our local animal shelter, St. Hubert's. We collected old blankets and towels to give to the pets at the animal shelter. After we dropped off the donations in their bin, we got to feed the homeless puppies. Each puppy had a name tag on its cage that stated information about them. There was a dog named Rocky at the animal shelter. Rocky couldn't hear us because he was deaf. All of us decided to help Rocky by feeding him and not being too loud so that his ears didn't hurt. Here we learned that not just people are homeless and hungry, animals can be too.

In the middle of April, we decided to branch out into our separate communities to collect more food. Each one of us took to our own streets and dance studios to collect more food. We wrote persuasive letters and made flyers to bring with us. While some of us had a more successful collection than others, we managed to collect a lot of food.

Then, at the end of April, we had another food drive in front of our local Stop n Shop. This time, we handed out flyers for potential donors to take into the store with them. The flyer stated what items the Interfaith Food Pantry wanted the most. Many people came out of the store with a bag of food for the food pantry. It turned out that a supermarket was a better location for our food drive as it took all of us to load the food in our leader's car.

On the day that we dropped off the food, we all drove to the Interfaith Food Pantry. When we reached the building, a man helped us load all of our food into a bin. This bin was then pushed inside to their loading area. We weighed the food and it turns out that we collected 402 pounds of food! We were all very happy that we were able to help so many people. Another man came over to us and asked if we would like to see the sorting room. We did and it was amazing. Volunteers help to sort out all the food collected and check to make sure it is safe to eat. They then bring it to the "store". Inside the room where the users of the the pantry shop, all the collected food is set up like a store. People can come and buy their groceries there if they need to.

When we left the food pantry, many of us felt good about what we had done. We would like to thank our local community and the workers at all the places we have visited for helping us to make our community better.

Pictured: (from left to right) Bryce, Diana, Gianna, Alexis, Caelon, Samantha and Zoe. Not pictured: Megan

First Name: Christine

Troop #: Troop 70305

Grade Level: Girl Scout Cadette (Gr 6-8)

Title: Silver Award Success

On Sunday January 18th, girls in Girl Scout Troop 70305 celebrated 15 Silver Award recipients (7 different projects were completed) and 13 10-year award recipients. The girls did a great job planning their ceremony around the "Circle of Girl Scouting" theme.

First Name: Amy

Troop #: 80914

Grade Level: Girl Scout Cadette (Gr 6-8)

Title: Sunshine 2 Seniors

Academy of St. Elizabeth freshman and Girl Scout Senior, Aliya McDonald, reached the goal of earning her Girl Scout Silver Award through two years of work on her "Sunshine 2 Seniors" project. What started out as a project soon turned into a mission to help bridge the gap between seniors and kids. Aliya created a ready-made service project that helps teens learn to communicate easily with their senior friends and develop a comfortable long-term relationship. Her quest now is to pass on this program to others to keep the momentum going. Aliya was honored at the Morristown Service Unit Court of Awards in December by the mayors from both Morristown and Morris Township. For more information on starting a program near you, visit

First Name: Clarissa

Troop #: 61017

Grade Level: Girl Scout Junior (Gr 4-5)

Title: Fort Lee Girl Scouts earn Bronze Award

Junior Girl Scout Troop 1017 in Fort Lee decided to work towards their Girl Scout Bronze Award. After planning, two groups were formed. One group decided to complete their Girl Scout Bronze Award requirements by collecting food items for the Center for Food Action in Englewood. Specifically, they collected certain food items for the Center’s Weekend Snackpack Program, which helps local needy children by discreetly giving them bags of seven specific snack and food items so they can have snacks and food over the weekends when they do not have access to school lunches. The girls spoke to their respective principals at their schools and received permission to do food drives at their various schools. The greater task was then assembling these “snackpacks” into Ziplock baggies for the Center. The girls were able to assemble and deliver close to 300 fully assembled “snackpacks” and many more assorted food items, filling three minivans, to the Center at the end of June. The girls are very proud of their accomplishments and of how much they were able to help the Center for Food Action. The other group decided to demonstrate community service, and complete the requirements for the Girl Scout Bronze Award by selecting "Library Awareness" as the focus. In June, they hung up signs in town asking for donations of gently used books for the annual library sale. Also, they promoted the request for donations and publicized the date of the library book sale throughout our schools. On the day of the sale, they volunteered, helping keep the display of books organized and restocking the tables. A benefit of selecting this cause was that they were also able to interact with friends and neighbors. September was Library Awareness Month. To promote awareness, they created a poster that was displayed at the Fort Lee Farmers' Market. While at the Farmers' Market, they distributed information about free programs at the Fort Lee Public Library that service adults as well as children, and handed out information about how to get a library card. It is important for people to know about the programs and benefits offered by our public library. It is free, a great resource for information and can be a meeting place for all. They hope their efforts encouraged more children and adults to utilize the resources of our library. The Fort Lee Public Library is for everyone in the community. It offers a wide range of materials, programs, resources and it is all free! All the girls were presented their award and certificates by Fort Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich at Borough Hall. It was a lovely event recognizing these girls’ accomplishments, recognizing the Girl Scout organization, and emphasizing volunteerism in our towns.

First Name: Michelle

Troop #: 651

Grade Level: Girl Scout Cadette (Gr 6-8)

Title: Friends of R.B.A.R.I: Troop #651 Silver Award

Oradell Girl Scout Troop #651 has completed their Girl Scout Silver Award leadership project. Their project benefited the Ramapo-Bergen Animal Refuge Inc. First, they held a Lucky Le"Purr"chaun Drive to collect donations. Then, they held a Pals for Pets Night. The night included snacks, games, crafts, puppet show, and even a police dog in action. The attendees learned about the importance of animal care, safety, and to try and adopt shelter first! Overall, everyone had a good time, learned something, and it benefitted a worthy cause.

First Name: Melissa

Troop #: 60431

Grade Level: Girl Scout Junior (Gr 4-5)

Title: Bronze Award at St. Joseph's Children's Hospital

Rutherford Girl Scout Troop 60431 completed their Girl Scout Bronze Award with a project for St. Joseph's Children's Hospital. The girls chose to make care packages to benefit the stay of children at St. Joseph's Children's Hospital in Paterson, NJ. They did a fantastic job and the staff members were so thankful and impressed. All in all, with a bake sale, private donations of items, and two corporate donations, they were able to make almost 300 care packages for sick children ages 3-15. These included coloring books, crayons, bubbles, small toys & puzzles, playing cards, and character band-aides. We started in May of 2014 and delivered 15 boxes on September 5th. It certainly took on a life of it's own and we couldn't be more impressed with the troop. Troop leader Melissa McHugh said, "I am grateful that I am a leader for these girls. No matter how tired I am, I always walk away feeling good after guiding them in their projects and after meetings."

First Name: Carin

Troop #: 409

Grade Level: Girl Scout Ambassador (Gr 11-12)

Title: 13 Years of Friendship

Paramus Girl Scout Ambassador Troop 409 held a Girl Scout Gold Award Ceremony, celebrating the achievements of their troop members, as well as a 13-year bond of friendship through Girl Scouting. From right to left: Monica Eichman (leader), Tara Williams, Melissa Eichman, Christina Lionetto, Jessica Herrmann*, Adriana Holowko , Erin Finnegan*, Kristen Moonjian*, Stephanie Marino and Carin WIlliams (leader) *Indicates Girl Scout Gold Award recipient.

First Name: Amanda

Troop #: 70028

Grade Level: Girl Scout Senior (Gr 9-10)

Title: Earning My Girl Scout Silver Award

Local Wyckoff Girl Scout Cadettes, Amanda Sproha and Gabriella Pisacane, from Troop 70028 have been working towards their Girl Scout Silver Award. In order to achieve this award, the girls must first complete a Girl Scout Journey, and then organize and finish a Take Action Project. As part of their service project, Amanda and Gabby needed to find an issue in their community and fix it. This past spring, Amanda and Gabby met with Town Councilman Kevin Rooney and DWP Head Scott Fisher to see what they could do to help beautify the little known Wyckoff Gardens on Crescent Ave in Wyckoff. The property was donated to the town, and parts of it had become run down. After gaining approval from the town council on June 26th, Amanda and Gabby organized a community service day on July 26th to help spread mulch along deteriorating pathways, repair steps and fill with gravel, and cut and clear away dead branches. Amanda and Gabby also brought two existing park benches home to repair and refurbish, and have since replaced the benches at the park around the pond. In an effort to continue the success of their project, they must reach out on a global level and try to make a lasting impact in their community. It is their hope, that by publishing this article (and others) that they will raise awareness of this little known park to others in Wyckoff, offering a quiet haven of nature to those looking to share in the beauty of our neighborhood. Come see the improvements they have made at the Wyckoff Gardens, and enjoy a little corner of Wyckoff you might not have known existed.

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