NORTH PLAINFIELD, NJ - Ten of 10 applicants of the North Plainfield Girl Scout Troop 65255 received the highest award a Junior Girl Scout can get, the Bronze Award, for its “We Care” project. This prestigious award fulfills an unmet need in the local community, took months to accomplish and 20 hours of community service – as well as completion of a three-phase Junior Girl Scout “Journey.” Awardees where honored and received their Bronze Pins at their “Challenge Ceremony,” where they bridged to Cadets on October 19, 2015.
During their award journey, girls gained critical 21st century skills like problem solving, time management and teamwork. They discovered pressing community issues, connected resources while they took action and provided solutions. “The girls’ ‘We Care’ project is a phenomenal example of how Girl Scouts are changing the fabric of our communities in New Jersey, one project at a time and we could not be more proud of their leadership,” said Julie Wagenblast, Girl Award Program Specialist of the Girl Scouts Heart of New Jersey.
The troop’s “We Care” Kits, or bags of necessary items for those who need help affording them, contained things such as dental floss, tooth paste, soap, mouthwash and other personal items. Product donations were collected from schools, family members, churches, the CVS in North Plainfield and other businesses. “The troop is grateful to everyone who made a donation,” said troop member and Bronze Awardee, Nicole Lindemeyer.
The Scouts delivered the kits and provided (Leader supervised) babysitting for children while parents got their “We Care” Kits and food at the Lighthouse Food Ministry on Somerset Street in North Plainfield on May 30, 2015. Pastor Tom Dickerson and Manuel Moricormia, leaders at Lighthouse Ministry, told the Troop, “Thank you for your help, you have been a blessing to have here.” Lighthouse is a food bank that serves more than 120 families in the greater North Plainfield community. Over the years, the girls have also handed out chickens and turkeys there for Thanksgiving.
The girls followed and completed the “Agent of Change” Junior Girl Scout Journey Book. In order to fulfill the Bronze, a project that they did on their own with guidance from troop leaders, they also did the following: phase one/Discover: researched and shared about a woman leader, their “heroine:” phase two/Connect: compiled a poster and magazine about these heroines and shared knowledge with each other; and, phase three/Take Action: organized and collected supplies to benefit school children in Africa. Amy Baty, Develop Africa Representative, said to the girls, “Thank you for your donation. Together, we are making a difference."
“We are so very proud that our troop members do not need any encouragement to give back to the community,” said Nancy Pierro, Troop Leader.
Members of Troop 65255 who are recipients of the Bronze Award include: Kaila Barnes, Emma Collazo, Brianna Cookman, Kendy Coxwell Rudy, Julia Gomes, Madison Kasper, Nicole Lindemeyer, Niah Llewellyn, Kerry Pierro, and Carly Robertson.
Troop 65039 held their “Fly Up Ceremony” and bridged to Junior Girl Scouts at the same event.
Photo: Troop 65255 members bridge to cadets, receive their certificates for community service and 10 of 17 receive Bronze Award Pins; shown first two rows (l-r): Nicole Lindemeyer, Brianna Cookman, Emma Collazo, Kendy Coxwell Rudy, Julia Gomes, Madison Kasper, Kerry Pierro, Carly Robertson, Niah Llewellyn and Kaila Barnes. Troop members shown last two rows (l-r): Zuri Felton, Amani Weeks, Victoria Smagalla, Alicia Dey and Naila Twyman. Not shown: Dominique Geiger and Sydney Waddy.