CHERRY HILL, NJ --  The Girl Scouts of Central and Southern New Jersey announced on Thursday that organization leaders will hand-deliver Girl Scout’s highest honor, the Gold Award, to 74 remarkable young women on July 10 as opposed to the traditional annual ceremony  These teens channeled their leadership, passion, work ethic, and creativity toward discovering innovative solutions for today’s issues in their community.  

The Girl Scout Gold Award is the highest award in Girl Scouting.  It recognizes girls in grades 9 through 12 who demonstrate extraordinary leadership through remarkable projects that have sustainable impact in the community and beyond. 

Since 1916, girls have successfully answered the call to go Gold, an act that indelibly marks them as accomplished members of their communities and the world.

Sign Up for Hamilton/Robbinsville Newsletter
Our newsletter delivers the local news that you can trust.

In a well-orchestrated and timed effort, team leaders will be deployed beginning at 10:00 am on Friday, July 10 from Girl Scout headquarters in Cherry Hill to travel across the central and southern New Jersey region to hand-deliver the Gold Award to the girls at their home. 

Among the Gold Award recipients is Megan Reger from Hamilton who undertook "Project Pollinator."  For the first part are her project, Reger created a garden that included pollinator-friendly plants that would benefit the pollinators by giving them a habitat as well as a food source.  For the second part, she worked to educate the community on pollinators using her "flower badge" and "educational sign and pamphlet." 

Reger was inspired to do this project from her love for the environment.

Ever since I was young I always enjoyed being outside and when I heard about the threat to the pollinators I wanted to do something to help them. I did further research and found that planting gardens with pollinator-friendly plants was one way to help the pollinators," said Reger. 

Local Girls Scouts Jenna Soliman and Samantha DeMartino, both from Robbinsville, also will receive their Gold Awards. 

Elsewhere in southern and central New Jersey who have earned their Gold Awards are:  Achanta Vaathsalya, Edison; Julia DiBenedetto, Metuchen; Samantha Rebolledo and Iyana McEachern, both of Piscataway; Melanie Miller, Milltown; Alexandrea Medley, East Brunswick; Victoria Talharim, South River; Emily Wheeler, Bordentown, Alison Wall, Fieldsboro; Varsha Gollarhalli and Ria Bajaj, both of West Windsor; Elie Wilton and Chloe Colleton, both of East Windsor; and Divia Shah, Freehold. 

This year’s class of Gold Award recipients completed all of these tasks and submitted their references by March 1.  Fortunately, the impacts of COVID-19 did not derail their journey to gold. In past years, girls received their award at an important Girl Award event.  Due to the pandemic and an effort to ensure the safety of the girls and the Girl Scout team, we are safely deploying the team to individually present the honor. 

All of these young women have undertaken the following seven steps required to become a Gold Award Girl Scout:

  1. Choose an issue. Use your values and skills to identify a community issue you care about.
  2. Investigate. Research everything you can about the issue.
  3. Get help. Invite others to support and take action with you.
  4. Create a plan. Create a project plan that can deliver sustainable and measurable impact.
  5. Present the plan. Sum up your project plan for your Girl Scout council.
  6. Take action. Take the lead to carry out your plan.
  7. Educate and inspire. Share with others what you’ve experienced and learned.

Research has verified that participating in Girl Scouts and earning the Gold Award are linked to developing critical leadership skills and advanced achievements.  At Girl Scouts, we know that these Gold Award recipients will be among tomorrow’s leaders making a significant impact on their communities and the world.

Follow us on Facebook and sign up for TAPinto Hamilton/Robbinsville E-News alerts to be the first to read about all things local!

Download the FREE TAPinto App!  Click here for Android - Click here for iOS for breaking news, traffic/weather alerts and special offers.

Know a story we should share with readers? Email editor Elizabeth Meyers and tell her about it.