Girl Scouts Earn Prestigious Gold and Silver Awards

The Girl Scouts of Cranford presented the national organization’s most prestigious honor – the Gold Award – to two young women of Cranford, NJ. The Gold Award recipients, Amanda Bush and Mary Grace McNamara, were honored at a recognition dinner held on May 24th at The Westwood. Guest speakers included Assemblywoman Nancy Muñoz; Martha Garcia, Director of Veteran’s Services at Fairleigh Dickinson University; Kathryn Ferguson, Teacher at Livingston Avenue Elementary School and Kelly Reider, Detective in the Juvenile Bureau of the Cranford Police Department.
Amanda Bush, now a freshman at Fordham University, focused her Gold Award project on raising awareness about pet therapy and its extensive benefits. Amanda was inspired by her own pet therapy dog, Jessie, who goes on visits to various facilities and cheers up all the people she greets. For her project, Amanda joined Jessie on some of her pet therapy visits to nursing homes and healthcare facilities in order to witness and take part in the advantages of pet therapy firsthand. Amanda created a brochure and video about all the benefits and the simple steps for getting involved with pet therapy. She then went to various events on behalf of St. Hubert’s Animal Welfare Center, the animal shelter based in Madison, NJ, that has a pet therapy certification program, and handed out the brochures at the events.
Mary Grace McNamara spearheaded her project, Diabetic Dudes, after she found a lack of support groups for preteen male Type 1 Diabetics who felt very different and sometimes isolated. By creating a supportive environment that caters to where they are developmentally, Mary Grace naturally created connections and relationships amongst the members. As they learned Type 1 Diabetes management techniques from the sustainable curriculum she created, Diabetic Dudes taught the children how to manage their disease and tackle feelings of stress and isolation.
Also during the evening, the Distinguished Girl Scout Service Award and Scholarship was presented to both Rebecca Durant and Morgana Haub for contributing over 40 hours of community service as a mentor to younger Cranford Girl Scouts.
The Girl Scout Silver Award, the highest award a Girl Scout Cadette can earn, was presented to the following girls: Julia Butka, Madison Weischadle, Madison Dilts, Mikaylee Grohol, Isabelle Hunt, Victoria Lima, Julia Love, and Jaliah Meralla.