Wooside Girl Scouts, now seniors, go for the gold
A determined group of high school seniors that has been together in the same Girls Scouts troop since second grade is going for the gold, the top award given by the organization.
The girls have been involved with Girl Scouts since attending Woodside School. They chose to focus their final efforts on helping another elementary school, Hoover Community School in Redwood City.
Scout leaders Mary Danko and Denise Mainz are impressed with their core group. When they started out with 21 girls, they thought the troop would naturally disband in high school, but nine pushed to continue and have already accomplished winning Bronze and Silver awards. Gold is the last one.
To achieve that goal each girl is responsible for committing at least 80 hours of service to a particular project, but the girls "wanted to keep it together so we can work together," explained Camille Stroe, a Castilleja student.
On Nov. 4 the girls hosted a celebration for students, parents and the community at Hoover. Ms. Stroe guided students in painting tiles that will be framed and hung around the school.
Summit Prep senior Gabby Goldstein gave tours of the vegetable garden she started on campus, and showed off the planters she helped fill with succulents to spruce things up. Woodside residents Frank York and Nancy Shanahan offered supplies and expertise for those projects.
Menlo School student Emily Danko solicited donations from local Rotary clubs and organized volunteers for all the tasks.
The rest of the troop attends Woodside High. Elayne Hovsmith set up a booth at the party to promote healthful eating and exercise.
Ryan Mainz read with kids at the party, enjoying the fruits of her labor, a book drive for the school's library.
Michelle Tanner set up a recycling program at Hoover.
Athena Zouzounis oversaw the painting of a mural at the school. The message behind it is "community," which is pertinent given that Gray's Paint donated the paint and Woodside artist Linda Steenkamp pitched in on the design.
Shannon Koop's "job" was generating publicity about the girls' various Gold Award activities.
As the person in charge of everyone, Margot Gorrin said she sure learned a lot about "preplanning."
Initially the girls raised money by selling cakes, cookies and nuts at the San Mateo County Fair. They are still hoping to buy a marquee for the campus to improve school-wide communications.
The school board plans to thank and recognize the girls for their dedication at its meeting on Nov. 16.