CHATHAM, NJ - Fourteen Girl Scouts from Chatham received the prestigious Gold Award on Tuesday, June 14th at the Fish and Game Club. The club was packed with leaders, advisors, families, friends, local town dignitaries and fellow Girl Scouts who came together to honor these accomplished role models.

The Gold Award, which is celebrating it’s 100th birthday this year, is the highest honor that can be achieved by a Girl Scout. It culminates in an 80-hour service project that has to have longevity and an impact on the girl’s community, either locally or internationally. Women who achieve this award are tasked with identifying an issue, investigating it thoroughly, getting help and building a team, creating a plan, presenting the plan, gathering feedback, taking action, and educating and inspiring others. This is no easy task, as only five percent of all Girls Scouts achieve this honor. Having 14 girls in Chatham earn the gold is quite remarkable.

Several influential members of our town’s community including both Chatham Borough Mayor Bruce Harris and Chatham Township Mayor Curt Ritter, and Lorena Kirschner of the Girl Scouts of Northern New Jersey, spoke and commended these women for their powerful and influential achievement in Girl Scouting.

Gold Award Recipients:

  • Thea Dekker, “Kopila Valley Girls Club”: Thea volunteered in Nepal with the BlinkNow Foundation and established a girls’ empowerment group that serves at-risk girls.
  • Jocelyn Hughes, “Celebrating the Arts with Seniors”: Jocelyn established an Art Gallery at the Senior Center of the Chatham’s. She also painted a portable mural.
  • Zoe Kraus, “ACL Injury Prevention”: Zoe worked with her high school’s athletic trainer to develop an ACL prevention warm up for female athletes.
  • Kelly Krincek, “Chatham: Tomorrow is Today”: Kelly created a 30 minute documentary about the culture and lifestyle of current citizens of Chatham to preserve the history for future generations. She also established a “Senior Memories” spread in the Chatham High School yearbook.
  • Anna Mason, “Cycles for Smiles”: Anna collected and refurbished donated bikes to donate to Family Promise. She also created bike safety pamphlets to be sent with the bikes.
  • Laura McCormick, “Tech Savvy Seniors”: Laura created a technology help program at the Chatham Senior Center. She did one-on- one help and classes on specific topics.
  • Kate Mirabelli, “Chemo Care Packages”: Kate worked with the Morristown Memorial Hospital, Valerie Center. Kate created care packages for kids undergoing chemotherapy.
  • Kate Purschke, “Operation Students Care”: Kate worked to raise awareness for Chatham High School graduates who are serving in the military.
  • Olivia Rondepierre, “Play for Patients”: Olivia focused on the social needs of the children hospitalized at St. Barnabas in Livingston.
  • Madeline Schroeder, “This Girl Fights Back”: Madeline’s project aimed to address confidence, self-esteem, and personal safety issues affecting girls in her community. She held a girls empowerment event that addressed personal safety and self respect.
  • Nishita Sinha, “Safe Sanitation Solutions - It Takes a Village”: Nishita’s project aimed to improve unfortunate sanitary conditions in most of the world. She researched potential solutions and designed an improved toilet. She then implemented these toilets in communities in India.
  • Tess Wakefield, “Showered with Love”: Tess’s project involved hosting baby showers for homeless mothers at Homefront Family Preservation Center. Homefront continued to host showers after her project was concluded.
  • Addison Walker, “Walk Chatham”: Addison’s project was to share the Chatham Historical Society’s information with the Chatham community. She created an audiovisual tour of Main Street, and a mobile application that is now available to download.
  • Ellie Walker, “Green Steps”: The focus of Ellie’s project was to inform her community about the importance of recycling. She created programs for children, high schoolers and adults.