Giving Back

Fanwood-Scotch Plains Girl Scouts Recognize 2015 Award Recipients

L to r: Samantha McCallion, Troop 40912, Fanwood; Erin O'Connor, Troop 40363, Scotch Plains; Fanwood Councilwoman Kathy Mitchell; Abbie Fossaceca, Troop 40363, Scotch Plains; and Caroline Ringel, Troop 40052, Scotch Plains. Credits: Tom Kranz
Samantha McCallion, Erin O'Connor, Abbie Fossaceca, and Caroline Ringel with award chairperson Michelle Tropper. The girls received commemorative binders containing letters and other remembrances:  Credits: Tom Kranz

SCOTCH PLAINS-FANWOOD, NJ - The Fanwood-Scotch Plains Girl Scouts gathered on May 26 at Immaculate Heart of Mary Church to honor girls who have achieved the organization’s highest medals: the Gold and Silver Awards.

Four girls from Fanwood-Scotch Plains earned the Gold Award this year. After completing a series of prerequisites, the girls must design and carry out a Gold Award project to address a need in the community in a way that can be sustained into the future. The projects carried out by this year’s recipients address a variety of community needs.

Abbie Fossaceca, a junior at SPFHS involved in the National Honor Society and Italian Honor Society, worked with The Boys and Girls Club of Union County in Plainfield, NJ. She secured donations for supplies, materials, and furniture to refurbish the kindergarten classroom and the library. She also led a group of volunteers to spackle, paint, and reorganize the layout of the kindergarten classroom, along with establishing Family Game Night.

Sign Up for E-News

Samantha McCallion, a senior at the Academy for Allied Health Sciences (AAHS), educated children about dietary needs of their classmates and created allergy-free recipes for kids to share. She ultimately created “Kids in the Kitchen,” a cookbook designed for children with allergies that teachers can refer to. Samantha will attend The College of New Jersey in the fall as an education/international studies major and wants to help girls in underprivileged areas in the future.

Erin O'Connor, a junior at SPFHS, created a driver’s education curriculum to make teens aware of the importance of the organ donation box on the New Jersey driver’s license. She gave an informative presentation to the SPFHS Health Education department, who is considering including it to driver’s education courses in the future. Additionally, Erin plays varsity lacrosse at SPFHS and is a member of the National Honor Society. She also volunteers as a peer minister at St. Helen’s Church.  

Caroline Ringel, a junior at SPFHS, organized and held a Veterans Gallery Walk at St. Bartholomew the Apostle Church to honor those who served in our nation’s military. She interviewed local veterans and their family members to gather stories and pictures, where they would be viewed by St. Bart's parishioners, friends and families of veterans, and St. Bart’s Academy students. Caroline is a member of National Honor Society, the SPFHS marching band, and serves as stage manager for SPFHS Repertory Theater.

The also recognized 16 girls who completed the Silver Award, the highest award in Cadette Girl Scouts (grades 6 – 8): Hannah Finan, Sara Miller, Sara Banasiak, Emily Malool, Aubrey Johnson, Briana McGowan, Yustina Alexander-Himlan, Sarah Briante, Alexandra Fischmann, Kate McQuaid, Ciara McParland, Mackenzie Inacker, Hannah Davis, Francesca Carlino, Caitlin Bourke and Madison Goldberg.

Their nine Silver Award projects involved health, reading, support for cancer patients, working with children and establishing a middle school literary magazine.

In the final event of the evening, some of the 15 twelfth-grade Girl Scouts in Fanwood-Scotch Plains were present to symbolically cross a bridge to adult Girl Scouting as they graduate from high school.

The Gold Award recipients have also been recognized by the Girl Scouts Heart of New Jersey on May 3 and at a recent Scotch Plains Township council meeting.

Fanwood-Scotch Plains is one of 138 communities in Girl Scouts Heart of NJ, which serves over 25,000 girls and 11,000 adult members in the counties of Hudson, Essex, Union, Somerset, Hunterdon, Warren and Middlesex. For more info, call (908) 518-4400 or visit


TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Scotch Plains/Fanwood

New Ice Rink Gets Green Light from Westfield Town Council

May 23, 2018

WESTFIELD, NJ — A standing room-only crowd cheered and booed Tuesday night after the town council, with a 6-3 vote, passed a resolution granting Mayor Shelley Brindle the authority to negotiate a lease agreement with Arena Realty Partners for a temporary ice rink at Gumbert Park this winter.

Brindle made her case for testing out the public-private partnership.

“I don’t ...

Capitalist or Communist?

Karl Marx may have been the pioneer, but many other Jews were also involved in the struggle for communism, particularly in the early days of the Russian revolution. Personally, I don’t think that we have any apologies to make for this phenomenon. Having suffered unbearably under successive oppressive regimes, many of those political activists genuinely thought communism would be better ...

The Facts About Vaping

May 13, 2018

Dear Editor:

The recent public discussion about vaping and “Juuling” that occurred at our high school really opened the eyes of a lot of parents who may have been clueless about what their kids are doing to themselves. There is a lot of conflicting and confusing information available online, on YouTube and social media about the so-called benefits of vaping vs. smoking ...

Softball: Peralta's Walk-Off Homer Gives Union Catholic a Dramatic 2-1 Win Over DePaul in State Tournament

May 24, 2018

SCOTCH PLAINS, NJ -- Gianna Peralta belted a walk-off homer over the center-field fence to lead off the bottom of the eighth inning to give third-seeded Union Catholic a 2-1 victory over DePaul in the quarterfinal round of the NJSIAA North Jersey, Non-Public A Tournament on Wednesday in Scotch Plains. 

Peralta, a freshman, drove in both runs for the Vikings, ...