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Featured Award Story

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First Name: Dawn

Troop #: 60574

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

Title: Career Fair


http://woodridgenews.net/news/flipbook/#p=12 This is the link to the article written by Tara Brebric, a Girl Scout in Wood-Ridge who completed the work for her Girl Scout Silver Award Leadership Project by holding a career fair for the younger Girl Scouts.

First Name: Victoria

Troop #: 4744

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

Title: Keeping Kids Connected


For our troop's Girl Scout Silver Award leadership project, we wanted to address the issue of children's cancer. My older sister (and our troop leader) is survivor of a brain tumor so we felt very passionate about our cause. We asked my sister what we could do for kids affected by cancer and she shared how being sick and going through treatment made her feel very isolated from her friends. So we thought it would be a great idea to help pediatric cancer patients and survivors feel like a part of the community by helping to run some fun events. We worked closely with the Children's Brain Tumor Foundation to organize their first annual Children's Walk Against Cancer. My troop designed "fun tables" and prepared activities for the survivors and their families. We offered the walkers face painting, tattoos, and activities like the candy guessing game. We also learned about different types of brain tumors and provided a resource book for families. Even though it was a lot of work, we had so much fun working with each other and meeting everyone. It felt great to bring so many people together! We plan on continuing to stay connected to the cancer community by helping out at next year's walk and going to other future events.

First Name: Olivia

Troop #: 70729

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

Title: Luv Pillows


For our Girl Scout Silver Award Leadership Project, we decided on donating handmade pillows to local hospitals. We spent many hours working with a sewing machine-- it feels like now we could sew them in our sleep. We even got some helpful donations from The Fabric Tree in Newton, NJ. My partner Lynn and I ended up making 60 pillows. We donated 40 of them to Newton Memorial Hospital in NJ, and the other 20 to St. Clare's Hospital in Dover, NJ. St. Clare's Hospital gave the pillows to the pediatric ward to give the children comfort in their time of need. It felt so good knowing we did a good job, we wanted to tell our story on GSNNJ to inspire other Girl Scouts to help their community and strive for a more perfect world.

First Name: Sanjana

Troop #: 47

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

Title: My Silver Award


For my Girl Scout Silver Award, I created a summer reading program in Dover, New Jersey. Kids in Dover are in a low socioeconomic status so they don't often come to the library or even know how to use the resources in the library. With my program I helped kids get better at reading and get more familiar with the library. For five sessions, a couple of friends and I helped the kids at Dover get better at reading. It was truly amazing to see how much better they got just with a little help in their reading skills. I think my Silver Award really made a difference in the kids reading and in the library.

First Name: Victoria

Troop #: 60478

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

Title: Young and On a Mission


Victoria Carolan and her troop of Girl Scout Cadettes, Troop 60478, are girls on a mission—to increase awareness of Turner Syndrome in New Jersey. What led them to choose Turner Syndrome awareness as their mission? One girl in the troop has Turner Syndrome and her story inspired the rest of the troop to want to change the way Turner Syndrome is perceived in New Jersey.

Victoria was diagnosed with Turner Syndrome at birth and has been under treatments and care for her condition since then. She may have Turner Syndrome but it does not define her life. She moved to Basking Ridge a few years ago and tried to find friends and ways to impact the community through the local Girl Scouts. A troop was formed with three other girls, Jenna, Radhika, and Maya.

The girls have been very active in the community ever since and have participated in activities such as a fall cleanup at an arboretum, a food drive and cooking for Samaritan Homeless Interim Program, wrapping gifts for children in need, and reaching out to senior citizens and veterans in the community. They truly enjoyed making an impact in their community, but wanted to have an impact on the world.

This was how the troop came up with the idea to go for their Girl Scout Silver Award, the highest award that a Girl Scout Cadette can receive. Girl Scouts who try to go for a Silver Award must engage in a project that has a sustainable impact outside of their immediate community and must spend a minimum of 50 hours on the project. The troop decided to make their project Turner Syndrome awareness as Turner Syndrome affects 1 in 2,000 females in the United States and is a condition that is common, but often misunderstood.

The girls in the troop watched online testimonies by other girls and women with Turner Syndrome and tried to educate themselves on the topic. After they brainstormed amongst themselves, they decided to put their project into action. Since February is national Turner Syndrome Awareness Month, they began sending information about Turner Syndrome to local schools, doctors’ offices, libraries, churches, and women’s crisis pregnancy centers. They also were able to talk to school nurses in local schools about Turner Syndrome and the importance of early diagnosis.

Turner Syndrome is a condition that is often diagnosed at a late age because not all girls exhibit classic indications of Turner Syndrome, including a webbed neck, low set ears and hairline, heart abnormalities, and a broad shield chest. This late diagnosis impacts their ability to receive the necessary treatments to develop normally as a female, including estrogen replacement therapy and human growth hormone injections. Early diagnosis will not only benefit them physically, but also academically as well, since many girls with Turner Syndrome have a nonverbal learning disability.

Increasing awareness of the condition will allow the condition to become more understood by members of the general public and allow individuals with Turner Syndrome to be more accepted by their communities. One major awareness event coming up is the New Jersey Marathon where the Turner Syndrome Foundation will be serving as an official charity and beneficiary of the marathon for the fourth year. This is their largest fundraising event and allows individuals with Turner Syndrome and their families to meet others with Turner Syndrome, share their stories, and participate in events in a fun and exciting atmosphere.

Victoria and her mother, Kimberly, ran the New Jersey Marathon ½ Marathon for Team TSF to raise awareness not only for the foundation, but for Turner Syndrome in general. At the event there was a Turner Syndrome Treats and Sweets bake sale and members of Victoria’s troop baked goods for the bake sale.

Another event that the Girl Scout troop will be participating in is at the Basking Ridge Charter Day on May 18. The girls will have a booth offering face painting and henna tattoss, and will be distributing pamphlets about Turner Syndrome. These girls are working hard to make a difference in the lives of individuals with this condition and can truly change the way Turner Syndrome is perceived in communities not only in New Jersey, but around the country as well.

First Name: Amanda

Troop #: 95331

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

Title: Veggies for Victims


Here we are at Bialas Farms in New Hampton, NY. We are washing and drying deliciously scrumptious butternut squash. Our troop (#5331) bagged various veggies for Hurricane Sandy victims. It was our Girl Scout Bronze Award leadership project, which our troop enjoyed a great deal. Left to right: Amanda, Ellie, Annika, Melanie.

First Name: Melanie

Troop #: 95331

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

Title: Bagging Potatoes for Hurricane Victims


Melanie, Amanda, Ellie, and Annika from Girl Scout Troop 5331 have just finished bagging potatoes at Bialas Farm. They did this as part of their Girl Scout Bronze Award to help Hurricane Sandy victims.

First Name: Carissa

Troop #: #143

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

Title: Girl Scout Bronze Award: U.S. Map


Upon graduating from Central Avenue Elementary School, most students were looking forward to family vacations at the beach, swimming at the community pool or going to summer camp. But three recent 5th grade CAS graduates, Meaghan, Ruby and Carissa, decided to spend part of their summer giving back to Central Avenue School.

Working towards earning their Girl Scout Bronze Award, the highest award a Junior Girl Scout can achieve, the members of Junior Girl Scout Troop #143 individually spent 20+ hours painting the United States Map and two hopscotch games on the black tops at Central Avenue School.

When asked what inspired them to paint the map Meaghan replied “I wanted to give something back to CAS and provide my three younger sisters, current students at CAS, a fun and educational game to enjoy.

Ruby, a student who enjoys art and painting, participated in completing the U.S. Map because it was colorful and educational.

Carissa was inspired to give something back to Central Avenue School and provide something colorful that everyone will enjoy.

First Name: Susan

Troop #: 80963

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

Title: Charlee's Library


For our Girl Scout Bronze Award leadership project, we wanted to do something meaningful and in the true spirit of Girl Scouting.

We selected a project that would help a friend and fellow Girl Scout's brother-- Charlee has autism....Specifically, we collected VHS tapes to start a library for him.

His 11-year-old sister very eloquently explains "The thing my brother likes most in the entire world is videos... VHS! He likes kids movies, adult movies, even blank tapes that he can tape shows onto. One of the characteristics of autism is to do something over and over again. Well, he likes to rewind the tapes and watch certain parts over and over again, and then he laughs his head off! Even though my brother is 15 years old, he functions as a 4- or 5-year-old and most people cannot understand a word he says. The only thing that really makes him happy is videos. Things can be very frustrating for him so sometimes he acts out and has tantrums. So my parents reward him with videos for good behavior and trying his best. He really likes this. " We collected over 600 VHS tapes, and sorted and catalogued them. We hope he will be able to enjoy them as well as use them to develop work-life skills such as sorting and re-shelving. We are thankful for the opportunity to help others.

First Name: Kathy

Troop #: 60701

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

Title: Silver Award Story- Kaci, Sofia, and Courtney


For our Silver Award Leadership Project we had to choose an issue to address. All of us agreed on Alzheimer’s awareness because we felt this topic should be focused on in our community, as our families have been affected by this disease. First we contacted the Alzheimer’s Association of Oradell for further information. After learning that their annual fundraiser was scheduled to be held at Van Saun Park, Paramus, we posted flyers around Northvale to let people know about this upcoming event. Courtney, Kaci, and I arrived early to the walk and helped set up the water station and passed out water to the participants during the walk. During the fundraiser we all realized how many other people are also trying to make a difference.

After the walk, we did our best to spread information about Alzheimer’s disease and what services are available to those affected and for their caregivers. During National Alzheimer’s Awareness Month, we had a representative from the Alzheimer’s Association, Elaine Winter, come give an informational talk at the McGuire Senior Center of Northvale. On National Alzheimer’s Awareness Day on November 14th, we worked with the Nathan Hale Student Council to promote healthy habits and taking care of your brain. While the Student Council held a “Pick Purple” Hair Extension Fundraiser for the Alzheimer’s Association, we passed out flyers with healthful tips to keep your brain healthy, provided a healthy snack (apples), and hung posters about healthy lifestyle choices for your brain. The posters will be displayed in front of the school nurse’s office for the remainder of the school year.

In the spring, we organized a “Health Information Day for Seniors” at the McGuire Senior Center of Northvale, which provided information about Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. Many who attended where given needed resources, contacts, and information from a variety of companies and organizations. The Northvale Senior Center provided information about their social and lunch programs, the Gallen Adult Day Care Center provided information about their Adult Day Program located in Rockleigh, the Visiting Angels of Ramsey provided information about in home care management, the Northwest Bergen Regional Health Commission handed out pamphlets about nutrition for seniors, the Marbles. The Brain Store of Westfield Mall provided fun games to play that stimulate and strengthen the brain, the Northvale Police which provided in town services specific for seniors, and the Alzheimer’s Association gave out registration forms for Medi-Alert Bracelets and information and services for the disease.

We all discovered about ourselves that even though we are still young we were able to bring a positive difference in our community. We connected with our local police department, local senior center, people helping those with Alzheimer’s throughout Bergen County, and the Alzheimer’s Association through emails, phone calls, and meetings. We learned from Elaine Winter of the Alzheimer's Association about how the disease affects so many people and how hard it is to solve this problem. By meeting Mrs. Winter, she helped network other sources of information for our project. We gained public speaking skills by having to talk at several Northvale Health Board meetings. We also learned better communication skills by contacting various organizations to attend our health fair. Another skill we acquired was a sense of team building by working in a small group. The senior citizen community was much more informed about the services available to them. Now our school community is more aware of brain health. Each organization that came together at our health fair were able to build upon each others’ knowledge and created a network of services dealing with the same targeted group of people. We were “responsible what we say and do” by conducting ourselves in front of others in a responsible and respectful manner. We “made the world a better place” because the seniors appreciated the younger generation caring for them.

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