Local Girl Scouts in award-winning work

By Lesley Franceschi, Assistant Troop Leader

Two groups from Girl Scouts Troop 10087 are just completing their Silver Award projects, which they worked on over the summer.

The girls are part of a Cadette troop that will bridge over to be Seniors in September. In order to receive the award, the girls must complete 50 hours on their project, with 20 percent being leadership hours. They must also show how their project will be sustained and how it can be used locally.

One group, comprised of Maddy Berg, Megan Jankowiak and Kiana Kipp, is working with the Town of Red Hook Recreation Department to install an adaptive swing at the Rec Park. The girls began their project back in the fall by meeting with John Kuhn and members of the recreation department to present their idea for installing a swing that would accommodate individuals with physical disabilities.

The girls were able to identify a swing that would meet all local zoning and ADA-compliance safety features as well as the approval of the town. They then held a fund-raising tag sale to help offset the cost of the swing. And, as part of their leadership component, they planned and held a disability awareness night at Linden Avenue Middle School that was open to all-level Girl Scouts.

The girls are anxiously awaiting the arrival of the adaptive swing and expect to install it within a week: the final step for the project and the end result of all their hard work.

The second group is comprised of Alexa Franceschi, Mia Michaelides and Ashley Martinez, from Red Hook. Their project was called “Thank a Soldier,” designed for writing letters of thanks and gratitude to active duty and retired United States soldiers as well as Wounded Warriors.

The letters were sent to Operation Gratitude in California in early September, where they will be shipped out all over to the world, wherever our troops are. The girls are hoping that these letters will bring smiles to the faces of all the soldiers who receive them, letting them know that there are many back home who support them.

Another part of Project Thank a Soldier was collecting food and toiletry items for the food pantry at Castle Point VA Hospital for the homeless and destitute veterans in our area. Unfortunately, many soldiers come home and find themselves in need of help either from injury, illness or being out of work. The pantry at Castle Point VA Hospital is one place they can turn to get food/toiletry items at little or no expense.

The troop collected over 400 items and purchased more with money that was donated and the items were delivered at the end of August.

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