Long Valley Girl Scout Gold Award Projects
We are surrounded by inspirational young women in our community!
Below you will find descriptions of Gold Award Projects that have been earned.
For those Girl Scouts looking for their own project ideas,
please note that many of these have been done using guidelines that are now outdated.
- Time Capsule of Long Valley
Victoria’s project was to create a Time Capsule of Long Valley, NJ to be opened in 2038 at Long Valley’s 300th anniversary celebration. The goals of the project were to promote town unity, to be something that everyone in the community could partake in, and to preserve what life was like in 2015-2016 for future generations. Everyone who contributed to the time capsule benefitted from this project, because they were able to share their opinion about how they think life will change, or submit a token from life today. It will be a positive celebration in the future and the next generation can better understand how their parents grew up in Long Valley. In order to obtain all of the items for the Time Capsule, she created a website to advertise the project, interviewed several town officials, surveyed over 350 elementary and middle school students, took photos around town, researched Long Valley’s history, and reached out to several organizations in town to ask for donations for the project. The Time Capsule included several interviews, hundreds of photographs of Long Valley during all four seasons, many important town artifacts, several contributions from clubs and organizations in town, and more. The most successful aspect of the project was the number of people who contributed to the time capsule. Countless groups, organizations, and individuals took an interest in this project and either donated or got involved in the project in some way. This project was important to Victoria because it gave her a chance to preserve Long Valley’s history, and she cannot wait until it is opened in 2038!
Kellin Elizabeth Daley
– Babies, Blankets and Bibles
Kellin’s project, “Babies, Blankets and Bibles” provided much needed love and encouragement to unwed pregnant mothers, after having made the decision to choose LIFE, rather than have an abortion. Her project has become a new means of additional support and outreach to these women through the Pregnancy Resource Center (PRC). At the Pregnancy Resource Center mothers are educated in a Christian atmosphere which ultimately helps them make the difficult decision about choosing LIFE, rather than have an abortion.
When a new mom decides to keep her baby, and chooses LIFE over abortion, she is given a baby blanket and a children’s bible. Kellin’s project has inspired these women to raise their children in a loving and Christian home, and to teach their babies about Jesus. Just knowing that someone cares and is supporting them means so much to these young girls who feel so alone. The PRC projected approximately 100 mothers will choose life per year. Kellin made 150 kits, and her church has agreed to take on the project to be done again each year.
Haley Jean Carkitto
- Batter Up
Haley addressed the issue of the number of girls enrolled in softball decreasing in Long Valley. Haley also knew that the Long Valley Girls Softball Association was having trouble recruiting adults to help with their program at all levels, and on their Executive Board. She saw this as a problem in her community and wanted to do something about it. Girls need a strong softball program that is fun, encourages team playing and a healthy lifestyle.
To address this issue, Haley decided to put up a softball batting cage in one of Long Valley’s main parks, outfit the cage with new batting equipment and provide batting fundamentals instruction. This helped Long Valley in a number of ways. For the girls in town it helped to improve their skills. It also helped improve the self-confidence of the girls (practice makes perfect!). Haley’s project provided them with a place to practice their hitting free of any charge. Many safety issues were resolved, as the girls are no longer swinging out in the open with the potential to hit someone with a bat or a ball.
Haley’s project helped to elevate the level of play of all girls in town for the Softball Association. The new batting cages have encouraged proper skill development, as each girl now has the opportunity for one on one coaching when practicing in the cage. These cages show that the Softball Association is committed to softball and getting girls involved, as the batting cage has become very a visible structure seen even from a distance. Her instructional clinic along with new equipment has helped to recruit new players as well as new coaches for the Softball Association.
Kristina Megan Denzler
– Murals of Miracles
Kristina’s project, Murals of Miracles, addressed the issue of reducing the stress that exists as a result of being in the hospital, whether from the hospital stay itself or because of the medical treatments, through art therapy. Less stress helps overall health and better healing. Murals of Miracles gave St. Jude patients opportunities to use their artistic talents as each child created their own piece of art.
Kristina travelled to St. Jude Hospital in Memphis, TN to spend time with these children. While working on the “Fish Frenzy” mural, each St. Jude patient attending Kristina’s art therapy session had the chance to make their own fish with paper scales, colored with pencils, paints and crayons. The fish was then attached to a prepared ocean canvas to swim among a big coral reef.
The time Kristina spent together gave patients the chance to concentrate on making something beautiful, and thereby relieving the stress that they face on a daily basis. The piece of art they made was framed and the children were able to bring it home or display it in their hospital room.
Kristina also created bags called, “Artist in the Making Bags”, tailored for various age groups. These gifts featured different art mediums for patients to use and keep. The hand sewn, brightly colored bags were used to be a reminder of her visit, and will be used in their rooms to continue to nurture creativity that began with their time together.
– Family Time is Fun Time
Becky’s project helped families connect and bond as a unit in their new homes, after dealing with hard times. Becky partnered with Habitat for Humanity for her project. She furnished family rooms in Habitat for Humanity newly built homes for two cycles of home dedications, helping out 5 families with kids, ages preschool through teenagers.
Becky collected brand new board and card games to put in the family rooms. She also provided game themed tables, chairs, and cabinets for a place to play and to hold the games. She was excited to receive (as well as shop for) wooden tables and chairs to paint with game themes, by painting a checkerboard on the table tops, as well as other board game art.
Her goal was to help the families reconnect with each other through family game times in their new space. It was a way for them to interact at no cost, during hard financial times when they were working to make ends meet. She made a decision not to provide any electronics like video games or computer technology so the families could actually talk to one another about their day instead of staring at a TV or independently playing video games all day. Becky’s project has given these families the opportunity to talk together and play together. As you can see these rooms were designed to keep the families connected and to maintain the very important family unit as a whole.
– A Place To Call Home
Imagine living your entire life, crammed in a cage two sizes too small, with nothing but an old rag and the cold hard floor. Maybe you get taken out every once in a while, but not nearly enough. This is what way too many animals suffer through every day in shelters, waiting for one day to finally be adopted. However, for some, that day will not come and they will be put down. Katie strongly believes that kill-shelters are cruel, and people need to be made aware about adopting animals from shelters, rather than going to a pet store and buying one. Her goal was to educate people about how important it is to adopt and rescue shelter animals. In order to do this, Katie ran a mascot contest at one of our elementary schools aimed at teaching rescue shelter awareness. The program resulted in elementary students submitted mascot designs for which Katie used one to create a mascot for Eleventh Hour Rescue. This is a no-kill, non-profit shelter that saves shelter animals from death row in kill-shelters, especially in the South. Katie had a costume created for the mascot, which will be used at various Eleventh Hour events to draw even more awareness to the organization and no kill shelters.
Katie also raised awareness about adoption, through a “Blessing of the Animals” event and “Strut you Mutt” event. These events allowed the community to learn about Eleventh Hour and their no kill status.
Katya Alexandra Reed – Healing Haiti
Katya’s project, Healing Haiti, focused on improving the quality of life and health for disabled and sick Haitian orphan children residing in Grace Children’s Hospital, located in Port au Prince, Haiti. Katya worked closely with her church, Trinity United Methodist Church, who graciously sponsored her trip and purchased and then donated the four wheelchairs as a thank you for all of the educational work and dedication on behalf of Haitian orphans that she did. As a result of all the education she did for our church and community Haitian orphan children received wheelchairs who would otherwise have no mobility. She also collected vitamins and band-aids which were donated to Grace Children’s Hospital that will greatly improve the children’s general health.
The enhancement of the quality of life was one of Katya’s points emphasized for the orphans in the Grace Children’s Hospital in Port au Prince Haiti. She ran an educational Haitian Fair that culminated with a Christian Music concert that was attended by the community and church.
Disabled orphan children have no hope within the Haitian society. They have little or no belongings, and they need hope and basic necessities to get through each day. The wheelchairs she brought to these orphans have already completely changed their lives, and have given them the possibility of leading a more normal life in a third world country. A small number of disabled children had heavy antique wooden wheelchairs which gave them limited mobility. The new, lightweight, folding/portable wheelchairs she provided have allowed them to leave the orphanage/hospital for the first time in their lives. The vitamins and band aids Katya supplied will help to develop their immune systems in an environment with disease and poor health conditions.
MacKenzie’s project entailed the creation of a database for the American Veterans Association of Washington Township, which includes basic information such as emergency contacts, personal preferences, along with details about their service time in the armed forces. This information was collected through hosting a Valentine's Day themed dinner at the Senior Center where the Veterans were able to communicate and enjoy their dinner whilst filling out the questionnaire. This questionnaire information was then compiled it into a template on the computer and stored on a USB, as well as in hard copy in a binder in the possession of the AVAWT. This project was selected in hopes to keep the Veterans better connected, whether just for social purposes between the monthly meetings, or for emergency purposes, such as to reach the Veteran or their next of kin in the case of an emergency. Additionally, this database was intended to grow with the Association, as it grows and gains more members- as well as to document and acknowledge the living legacy of the Veterans for many years to come.
Nicole Lynn Stanton
– Happy Feet
Dance studios in our area do not offer programs or classes for special needs children. Children with learning disabilities have a difficult time understanding concepts that may come naturally to others. Since many dance teachers are typically only trained in dance, they may not know the characteristics and learning styles of these children. Constant repetition, concepts broken down into small pieces, simple instructions, and frequent breaks are essential to their learning process. These children often have a low self-esteem due to the fact that they may have social and emotional difficulties as well. Nicole’s project created a class that addressed all of these concerns and helped this group of special education children find a new talent. This class gave them the opportunity to find and foster a talent outside of the classroom
The impact Nicole created was a lasting love for dance, as well as to create memories, friendships, and better self-esteems for the participants.
The main beneficiaries of Nicole’s project were special education students at Bragg Intermediate School in Chester New Jersey. The children’s ages ranged from 8-11. Also, the parents of the children benefited just as much because they were able to see a change in their child as they would become excited to go to school, work on their new found talent, and make new friends. Finally, the Chester School District benefitted, as she created a new program to add to their educational offerings for special education students.
Taylor Claire Wiggins
– Vacation Day Adventures
The issue Taylor addressed is that there is no affordable child care for working parents on school holidays in our community. For working parents it is hard finding somewhere for their kids to go on days off in our town. There are camps sponsored by a local YMCA but they are expensive, and the camp is not within our town. If they can’t find anything it often comes down to the kids staying home by themselves. That is not good for anyone, the kids get bored and then they could get in trouble. Taylor provided affordable one-day camps on three different school holidays. Her camp, called “Vacation Day Adventures” targeted kids grades K through 5 whose parents work.
Taylor’s camp day started at 7:30AM and ended at 6PM. There was a different theme each day, with structured activities, play time, lunch and snack times. Her intent was to provide an educational but fun day off instead one whereby the kids would be home sitting in front of the TV. Taylor addressed the issue by providing a safe place for kids to spend the day. She had many different themed educational activities to keep everyone busy. Also there were other kids to interact and have fun with, and she was able to segment the large groups of kids into smaller like age groups.
Michelle’s project was to run a sport’s skills class at the Child’s Enrichment Program located at Cuccinella Elementary School in Long Valley, New Jersey for learning physically and emotionally challenged children. Every week Michelle introduced a new sport and taught the skills of how to play a sport. At the beginning of camp not very many child were enthusiastic about playing sports, but by week three, kids were doing things they have never done before. The issue her project addressed was that children with disabilities are often forgotten about in the athletic world, with the exception of the Special Olympics, and not many young disabled children are having the opportunity to go out and enjoy the love for a sport.
After teaching a sport’s skills class, Michelle felt that she met the objective of helping disabled children and their siblings reconnect to the world of sports. One boy in a wheel chair had never had the opportunity to play football, which he loved. Through the camp she gave him the opportunity to have an experience that he would have never had otherwise.
Paige Elizabeth Stricker
Paige’s project was titled “Recycle, Reuse, Donate”. Paige wanted to address the fact that there are many items lying around the house that can be recycled to benefit the community, but people are unaware of where and how to donate these items. Paige started by collecting VHS tapes and unwanted DVDs. Most VHS tapes are ending up in landfills, but they are recyclable. All plastics 1-7 can be recycled, but most recycling programs only collect #1 (water and soda cans) and #2 (detergent bottles). Paige found a program in Missouri called Alternative Community Training (ACT), that recycles and refurbishes VHS tapes, and they hire disabled adults to do all the recycling. All proceeds are used within the program to employ disabled adults in various capacities within the company. All the unwanted DVDs were also recycled through ACT. The reusable children’s DVDs were used to create a portable entertainment cart containing the DVDs, a portable DVD player, and arts and crafts. The portable cart was donated to the Short Stay Unit at Hackettstown Regional Medical Center. Paige updated and distributed a brochure for the Long Valley Recycling Center that helped promote two Recycling Programs, one for recycling electronics, and the other for large scale paper shredding.
Finally, Paige created a website to promote recycling both locally and globally. As an example, it lets you know where you can donate shoes for victims of the earthquake in Haiti.
Julia’s project was to create a pictorial history of her historic hometown, Washington Township, Long Valley New Jersey from Old Germantown to present day. Included in this were the town mayors and officials from early days through present, buildings and people. She framed and mounted historical photographs in the building courtroom and also typed up a paragraph of information for each picture hung, telling what it was and why it was important to her town’s history. By doing this project, the pictures have gained significance in a way that is meaningful to the building and the residents. She re-created history and made something monumental for our town to be able to see and look back on for many years to come.
Michelle Nicole Richar
Michelle created “Believe in Your Beauty” bags for young teenage girls with cancer. Her goal was to make these girls feel beautiful and confident since many of them do not because of their diagnosis. She contacted companies, church members, Girl Scout leaders and community members to collect make-up and beauty products. She wanted to help teenagers because she felt that many Gold Awards target young children or the elderly, so she wanted to help girls that she could relate to and that could use some comfort. The bags were delivered to Hackensack Hospital, specifically to “Tomorrow’s Children Fund”, where the children with cancer go for treatment. Michelle learned through this project that hard work pays off and she truly enjoyed helping the girls.
Elizabeth Heidi Worth
Elizabeth’s project was to create a Kids Park for the children who attended the annual Colombia Trail Tromp for Cancer Research in honor of Bill Harrington, a local community leader. The Kids Park was a place where the parents could drop off their children while they participated in the Tromp. The older children could stop by the Kids Park for a break and then continue on with the Tromp. While the children were at the Kids Park, they would get a chance to learn about healthy lifestyle techniques while having fun. Elizabeth wanted the children to go away with important lessons about being healthy and changes in their lifestyle that would be with them all their lives. The children were split up according to age and did educational activities. Along with the educational activities, there were game stands set up for them to play in between learning. Hurricane Irene altered the plans for the Tromp this year and the event had to be held at later at the Green Market. It was very successful and will long be remembered to the children that attended.
Katherine L. Perez
Katherine’s project is to locate and record the graves or markers of veteran's in the Union Cemetery in Washington Township. She led a team of volunteers into the cemetery and located and recorded all of the information on the grave stones. They were photographed and their GPS locations were recorded. Some graves were much deteriorated. They had to be researched in the cemetery office. When the field work was finished, the data was organized and given to The VFW, the Daughters of the American Revolution, the Hackettstown and Washington Township Historical Society and the Cemetery Office. This project is a living legacy to our veterans.