Three local Scouts earn Bronze Award

By Janice Steinhagen - Staff Writer
Voluntown - posted Tue., Nov. 15, 2011
Girl Scout Troop leader Vicki Schwery (l) with her new Cadette Scouts and Bronze Award winners Tayler, Madisyn and Juliet. Photos by Janice Steinhagen.
Girl Scout Troop leader Vicki Schwery (l) with her new Cadette Scouts and Bronze Award winners Tayler, Madisyn and Juliet. Photos by Janice Steinhagen.

Service to others is a key element of Girl Scouting, so much so that it’s built right into Scouting’s promise and laws. Three girls from Girl Scout Troop 63134, of Voluntown, found some creative ways of fulfilling that pledge in the local community. The three 11-year-olds were honored Nov. 14 for achieving the Bronze Award, Girl Scouting’s third-highest honor.

Vicki Schwery, leader of the multi-age-level troop, said that the requirements for the award include 15 hours of work on some service project. All three girls went above and beyond that minimum level, clocking between 20 and 25 hours each, she said.

Juliet’s project involved volunteering at Kitty Harbor Cat Shelter in Griswold. It was a perfect fit for her, since she loves cats, but can’t keep one as a pet because of family allergies. She spent her time cleaning out litter boxes, sweeping the floor, and feeding cats at the shelter.

Juliet said she also spent time petting and playing with the shelter’s cats “to make them more friendly.” That increases their chances of being adopted into permanent homes, she said.  She also created a poster encouraging pet rescue. “More cats need to get adopted, because there are a lot of cats,” she said.

Madisyn’s project involved collecting toys for needy children. She placed collection boxes at school, town hall and other public places, and posted flyers telling people about her project. “I thought all children deserve a toy, not only because of Christmas, but because it’s Jesus’ birthday,” she said. Madisyn’s effort yielded more than 100 toys, which she donated to Madonna Place and to the Children’s Medical Center in Hartford.

Tayler also spearheaded a collection, this one of canned food items. She wrote letters to several local businesses asking for their help in allowing her to place collection boxes there, as well as at school. “All together, I got over 200 pounds of food to drop off,” she said.
She took her donation to a food drive sponsored by a local radio station, which donated the food to the Thames Valley Council for Community Action. “TVCCA delivers food to people who can’t afford it,” said Tayler.

All three girls also had to earn at least two badges related to their project, along with a Junior Aide bar and one of the Girl Scout Signs. At the troop’s Court of Honor ceremony, the trio joined two other Junior Scouts in “bridging” from the Junior to the Cadette level of Scouting.

Schwery said that the troop includes girls ranging in age from Daisy (kindergarten age) through Cadette (ages 12-14). Assistant leaders for the troop include Sarina Martinez and Kelly Cassidy.

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