On Monday evening, May 19, at Beach one in Medford Lakes, 80 girls bridged to the next level in Girl Scouts. Nine of these girls crossed the bridge one final time as they moved from ambassadors to adults. Mary Kate Dowling, Gillian Downing, Michelle Dunn, Breanna Hurley, Julia Malpass, Becki McGinnis, Spencer Pargas, Jessica Stearn, and Abbey Wiker have been in Girl Scouts since kindergarten or first grade, and the ceremony was bittersweet for their leaders, Traci Dunn and Jody Wiker, as well as for girls.
Together they have shared many incredible experiences from camping and whitewater rafting to Christmas caroling and helping the Lion’s Club collect hundreds of gifts for their annual gift drive. In eighth grade, the girls went to Florida to learn about protecting the manatees and how to interact with them in their natural environment. The summer after 10th grade the troop went to Costa Rica where they brought writing supplies and a bilingual scrapbook they created to a local school. The trip included visits to Poas Volcano and Manuel Antonio National Park, learning about the Costa Rican eco-system, and zip-lining through the top of a cloud forest. Last summer, the troop worked with Habitat for Humanity in Salem County helping to finish two access ramps for homebound senior citizens. When the last ramp was complete, the girls tied construction tape at the end of the ramp. Then they wheeled the elderly woman, who hadn’t been able to leave her house in almost two months, outside into the sunshine where she cut the “ribbon.”
These young women are wonderful role models for the younger Girl Scouts. They have made a difference in their community, and will continue to make the Medford Lakes Girl Scouts proud as they follow the path to their next journey.