CRANFORD – The Girl Scouts of Cranford (Service Unit 48) recently honored the commitment and service of 22 Ambassador Girl Scouts who are concluding their scouting careers as they graduate from high school.

According to the release, a Girl Scout Ambassador is the sixth level in Girl Scouts and is open to girls in grades 11 and 12. Although social distancing guidelines prevented the girls from gathering in person, an online recognition program was held with the seniors and their volunteer leaders. For most in the group, this year was the conclusion of 12 or 13 years in Girl Scouts. Many were also recipients of Bronze and Silver Awards, two of the highest awards offered by Girl Scouts USA.

Three of the seniors were also awarded scholarships of $500 each for their distinguished and exemplary service. The Girl Scouts of Cranford Scholarship Recipients for 2020 are Julia Butka, Rebecca Gathercole and Desiree Santos. Butka will attend Rutgers University in the fall to study nursing, Gathercole will attend Ramapo College to study communication arts, and Santos will study at Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) to pursue a bachelor of fine arts / animation.

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“This is a unique group. Regrettably, you’ve missed out on a lot of things this year, like prom and other senior year traditions, but we could not let this milestone pass uncelebrated,” Elayna Torsone, manager of Service Unit 48, told the group. “You girls are an example for all our Girl Scouts in town. With the foundation of your families, the town of Cranford and Girl Scouts, I think you are all going to knock it out of the park in your next steps and new adventures.”

Torsone noted that it was not only a milestone for the seniors, but for their families and volunteer troop leaders as well.

“This has been such a rewarding experience,” added Terry Gathercole, leader of Troop 40073. “We’ve watched these little girls grow up into the awesome young women they are today. They are an accomplished group, and we can’t wait to see what the future holds for them.”

The graduating Ambassador scouts bridging to adulthood are listed below along with their post scholastic plans:

Troop 40050: Marina Nunziato (Scranton University), Paige Brogan (University of Rhode Island), Morgan Reitzel (Rowan University), Maia Pryor (Union County College), Alexis Lahrheim (Quinnipiac University), Laurel Teel (Gettysburg College), Grace Power (Siena College), Amanda Espasa (University of West Virginia)   

Leaders: Kathryn Teel and Kim Reitzel

Troop 40073: Victoria Lima (Penn State University), Isabelle Hunt (Stevens Institute of Technology), Julia Butka (Rutgers University), Rebecca Gathercole (Ramapo College), Madison Weischadle (Union County College), Mikaylee Grohol (University of Vermont), Lucia Pizarro (Deep Springs College)

Leaders: Diane Butka and Terry Gathercole

Troop 40113: Kayla Haywood (Iona College), Ashleigh Cotter (University of Notre Dame), Desiree Santos (Savannah College of Art and Design), Gabriella McIver (Kean University), Kimberly Fonseca (Union County College), Caroline Pascal (New Jersey Institute of Technology)

Leaders: Nilda Haywood and Kristin Santos

Troop 40229: Grace Caldwell (Case Western Reserve University)

Leader: Anne Weisenfeis

About The Girl Scouts of Cranford

The Girl Scouts of Cranford boasts over 1,139 Girl Scout Members in 71 troops and Juliette’s making it one of the largest non-profit organizations in town. The Cranford Service Unit is a part of the Girl Scouts Heart of New Jersey (GSHNJ) Council which is part of the Girl Scouts of the USA. If your family is interested in learning more about local Girl Scouts or to find out more information on the Girls Scouts of Cranford, please visit

EDITOR'S NOTE: Special thanks to Kerry Rokicki for passing along the information.