Mindfulness Garden Retreat at Livingston Avenue School

(above, l-r) The troop with their former and current LAS Principal, Mrs. Carly Lopez; Aubrey Walsh, Maddie Petino, Brooke Nixon, Kira Frydman, Cassidy Walsh, Mrs. Lopez, Rachel Kielczynski, Isabella Parente, Grace McDevitt, Evelia DeMera, and Giuliana Testa

Mindfulness Garden Retreat

Submitted by Nicole Savino Mulcahy

Graduations typically mark a time when students end their educational career at one institution, and move onto the next adventure ahead. Many times, the vision is solely focused on the future and what lay ahead. This was not the case for Cranford Girl Scout Cadette Troop 40836.

Cadette Troop 40836, who had been together throughout their three years at Livingston Avenue School in Cranford, New Jersey, felt compelled to give back to their second home even after graduation. They decided the best way to honor the experiences they enjoyed at Livingston Avenue School was to create a project for their Bronze Star that would help future generations of students to come. Troop 40836 created a plan to engineer a Mindfulness Garden, which would serve as a retreat at Livingston Avenue School for all students.

This effort brought the Scouts together with their former school principal, Mrs. Lopez, as well as Bartell’s, and Westfield Lumber, to realize their vision for the school grounds. In order to fund their project, Troop Leader Faith McDevitt explained, “The girls had a two-day ‘Make and Bake Sale’ to raise funds for the garden, and then built the garden after school and on weekends in September.”

The process of envisioning and creating the Mindfulness Garden was more than just a way to give back to their beloved school, this was also an opportunity for team building. Cadette Grace McDevitt explained, “By working on this project, I learned the importance of working together as a team and patience.” This project has added so much character and serenity to the grounds of Livingston Avenue School. All students are able to retreat to this area and find a moment of calm as well as enjoy the hard work of Troop 40836.

Cadette Troop 40836 was awarded the Bronze Star at the November 8, 2021 ceremony at the Cranford United Methodist Church. They presented their project to the audience in attendance and proudly received their recognitions. The Cranford Girl Scout Community is truly proud of this endeavor as it symbolizes our mission of service and support to others by sharing our strengths and talents.

The Girl Scouts of Cranford boasts over 1,139 Girl Scout Members in 71 troops and Juliettes, making it one of the largest non-profit organizations in town. The Cranford Service Unit is a part of the Girl Scouts Heart of New Jersey (GSHNJ) Council, which is part of the Girl Scouts of the USA. If your family is interested in learning more about local Girl Scouts or to find out more information on the Girls Scouts of Cranford, please visit cranfordgirlscouts.com.

Photos by Girl Scouts of Cranford

(above) Cadette Troop 40836’s Mindfulness Garden at Livingston Avenue School in Cranford, New Jersey
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