MONTVILLE, NJ – The Montville Township Board of Education honored four Girl Scouts who have achieved their Gold Awards at its regular May 17 meeting.

Olivia Bednash, Grace Blazina, Desiree Bsales and Kelsey Ryan achieved their Gold Awards. Bednash, Bsales and Ryan are members of Montville Township’s Girl Scout Troop 1083. Blazina is a member of Girl Scout Troop 641. Blazina is a senior at Morris County School of Technology, and Bednash, Bsales and Ryan are seniors at Montville Township High School.

Bednash’s project involved fundraising to put together a team to build a 12’x 14’ outdoor cat enclosure which she designed for the Montville Township Animal Shelter. The cats can now get out of their cages and get fresh air and exercise while they await adoption, according to the board’s resolution. The enclosure includes climbing ramps and structures, two cat houses, and a dual entrance gate for safety. The project was recognized by the Animal Planet television station host Jackson Galaxy and Bednash has received many requests for her plans, according to the resolution.

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Blazina’s project involved developing a free, physical, fun, esteem-building soccer camp for the children of Eva’s Village shelter, according to the board’s resolution. They do not have the opportunity to participate in annual town or privately run camps due to the cost. Blazina put together equipment donations, camp helpers and designed the program to be made a part of their regular summer day-care program, to be continued each year.          

Blazina said she has been a Scout since kindergarten, and her project took about a year and a half.

Bsales’ project involved teaching parents and educators of young children to inform them of the dangers of the online world.

Bsales called cyberbullying “a huge issue in our technology-obsessed society.”

“Bullying has always been an issue for children, but now that it can be done anonymously at any time, it has been an increasing problem,” Bsales said.

Her project was a presentation entitled “Behind the Screen: Cyberbullying.” It was designed for parents and educators, and was presented at several venues in town.

For parents with young children, she teamed up with her employer, Kidnetic, to create a family night. While the children played, the parents listened to the presentation.

“I also held two other presentations at the Senior House and for a troop of middle school Scouts,” Bsales said.

The presentation can also be viewed on YouTube.

Ryan’s project involved tending a community garden plot on her own and growing vegetables. She also received donated produce from surrounding gardeners. Together they raised 251 pounds of fresh produce for the Interfaith Food Pantry. She also created a website sharing her story and recipes incorporating the vegetables she grew, and a step by step guide on how to plant your own garden.

A resolution from the Board of Education “recognizes and applauds the innovation, creativity, and hard work” of the four youths for the “honor and distinction [they] have brought to [their] famil[ies], school, and community in reaching [their] goal as a Girl Scout Gold Award recipient.”

Board President Matthew Kayne thanked the parents of the youths, too, for their time and for “showing their children the right way to grow up.”

The Girl Scouts were also honored and presented with plaques at the May 24 Montville Township Committee meeting. Watch the video of the presentations HERE.

Mayor Jim Sandham said, "I like to quote Ronald Reagan when I speak at Boy Scout Eagle Courts of Honor, who said there aren't any heroes out there anymore. It's not true -- they just don't know where to look. These are the heroes of Montville Township, and these are the future heroes of America. Congratulations and thank you for all the work you've done."