By Ann Marie R. Harvie
Shrewsbury – Several Shrewsbury Girl Scouts were recently honored at the annual Gold and Silver Award Ceremony held by the Girl Scouts of Central and Western Massachusetts (GSCWM).
Although troop meetings and badge work went virtual with great success during the pandemic, holding the traditionally large Girl Scout gathering presented a problem. The solution not only made this important ceremony happen, it took the event to a whole new level.
On June 18, the Northfield Drive-in, in Hinsdale, N.H., family and friends watched their girls receive their awards – the highest awards in the organization – on the big screen from the safety of their cars.
Pattie Hallberg, CEO, and Joan Bertrand, president and chair of GSCWM, presided over the ceremony.
“I hope you know how special you all are,” Hallberg told the honorees. “You are all proven leaders. I believe that everyone is born with leadership potential. But potential isn’t what really matters – what matters is how that potential is cultivated and developed. Anyone given the right encouragement, opportunity and drive may truly become great. That is what Girl Scouting is all about.”
Four groups from two Shrewsbury Girl Scout Troops were honored with Silver Awards during the ceremony. Jessica Minton, Troop 11087, Anjali Amin and Rachel Harvie, Troop 30304, represented their troops.
For Jessica’s project, she worked with the Shrewsbury Park and Recreation Department to build a gaga pit for her town and provided a plan and funding for the pit’s ongoing maintenance so it could be enjoyed by children for many years.
“I was proud that my effort paid off,” Jessica said. “It makes me happy to see kids enjoying something that I accomplished.”
With her teammates Aanya Sachdeva and Sabrina Williams and Park Ranger Nicole Giles, Anjali Amin created a pollinator garden at Hodges Village Dam in Charlton and an educational Troop Facebook Page to bring awareness to the dwindling bee population.
“When receiving my Silver Award, I felt accomplished and relieved that my work had paid off,” said Anjali. “I would say to younger Girl Scouts who are thinking about going for the Silver Award to never give up. It will all be worth it.”
Rachel Harvie represented her teammates, Emma Dumont and Kaitlyn Silverberg. They also created a pollinator garden, complete with bee habitat houses, at Hodges Village Dam. The girls also held a pollination seminar at the Shrewsbury Public Library.
“I thought it was pretty cool being able to receive our Silver Award and to see it on the big screen,” said Rachel. “I was worried we wouldn’t because of the pandemic and I’m so glad that GSCWM could make this happen for us.”
Samantha Thomas and Natalia Vasquez also earned their Silver Award by creating a pollinator garden on Earth Day at Hodges Village Dam. They also raised butterflies and released them into the garden and created an educational poster that was displayed at the Shrewsbury Public Library.
“In receiving these awards, you not only proved that you could make a difference, but you already have,” said Bertrand told the girls. “You made the world a better place in the process. You all should feel very proud. We can’t wait to see what you will accomplish next.”