Greenwich Girl Scouts honor members with highest achievement

State Rep. Fred Camillo (R-151st) poses with senior Girl Scouts Elizabeth Budinoff, Cara English, Gabrielle Liflander, Sabrina Manero, Lesley Nolan, Samantha Salkin and Erin White at the event.

State Rep. Fred Camillo (R-151st) poses with senior Girl Scouts Elizabeth Budinoff, Cara English, Gabrielle Liflander, Sabrina Manero, Lesley Nolan, Samantha Salkin and Erin White at the event.

During their sixth annual Recognition Dinner at the Italian Center in Stamford the Greenwich Girl Scouts celebrated the achievements of local Scouts.

More than 50 awards were divvied out during the dinner, which featured keynote speakers Sarah Goldin of Greenwich High School and Bigelow Tea President and CEO Cindi Bigelow. Mary Barneby, CEO of the Girl Scouts of Connecticut Council, served as mistress of ceremonies.

Six Greenwich Scouts received the Gold Award, the highest achievement within the organization. For consideration for the award, high school Girl Scouts are asked to complete a meaningful project following seven specific steps: identify an issue, investigate said an issue, get help and build a team, create a plan, present the plan and gather feedback from the mentors and take action, with the ultimate goal of educating and inspiring others.

Each of the recipients devoted more than 80 hours to their personal project.

Rose Arezzini identified the issues teenage girls with special needs face in terms of socialization, leading her to create a Special Sisters program to bring more of these teens together.

Teen volunteers were given sensitivity training to help them form stronger relationships with the program’s participants.

Lesley Nolan recognized a need for a children’s reading corner at the Stamford Family Centers and sought out libraries, businesses and churches to help provide a healthy selection of books for the corner.

Team building was the focus of Eliana Betzio’s project, as she worked to unify five Greenwich youth cheerleading teams with the Greenwich Youth Cheerleading Association. She taught each team the same routine, bringing them together for a group performance at the town exhibition.

Elizabeth Budinoff created Elizabeth’s Cyber Café in an effort to teach elderly community members how to utilize computers and social media. Through the shop she tried to destigmatize the technology and help seniors connect to family and friends online.

Seeing a gap in Greenwich’s sports education programs, Erin White took to the town’s Boys & Girls Club to teach children in middle school and fifth grade the fundamentals of volleyball. While there are competitive teams available at the middle school and high school level, Ms. White taught the basics of the sport to those who were interested.

Madeline Wolf offered instruction at a local Boys & Girls Club as well, teaching kids about music and musicianship alongside other high school volunteers for two years.

A total of 35 Bronze Awards were distributed to three different troops during the event. The Bronze Award is the highest accolade that Girl Scout Juniors can earn, requiring at least 20 hours of service. Chelsea Cleary of Troop 50160 earned her Bronze Award hosting an ice cream social for the residents of the Mews assisted living facility in Greenwich for Flag Day. Elderly residents received homemade cards and treats as a part of the occasion.

Troop 50136 got involved with the Stamford Animal Shelter’s Outreach to Pets in Need (OPIN) program, donating their fund-raising money to buy food and equipment for the shelter.

The troop organized to shop and fund raise on behalf of the shelter, delivering the proceeds and provisions personally.

Eagle Hill School’s Troop 50650 campaigned to collect necessary supplies for an orphanage in Tanzania after learning about the conditions there.

The Girl Scouts collected enough pajamas, footwear and raincoats for each orphan, but also for the teachers and staff of the orphanage as well.

The Greenwich Girl Scouts also celebrated their 13 graduating ambassadors, all of whom have been with the program since the first grade. They are Elizabeth Budinoff, Juliana Edelston, Cara English, Marisa Goff, Jennifer Grieco, Gabrielle Liflander, Rachel Livermore, Sabrina Manero, Lesley Nolan, Samantha Salkin, Ahana Shanbhogue, Erin White and Rachel Winpisinger.

“These Girl Scouts have discovered the fun, the friendship, and the power of girls together,” the Greenwich Girl Scouts said in a statement. “Through a myriad enriching experiences, such as extraordinary field trips, sports skill-building clinics, service projects, cultural exchanges, and environmental stewardships, girls grow courageous and strong.”

To learn how to join a local Girls Scout Troop, visit Gsofct.org or email [email protected]

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