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Groveton middle-schooler wins volunteer service award

Joli Lunderville Pet Adoption Day
At Adoption Day at Dog Mountain in St. Johnsbury, VT, Joli Lunderville and her sister Girl Scouts displayed their project and explained to visitors how they made pillows and toys for homeless animals. (Courtesy photo)

Silver Award Girl Scout Joli Lunderville will travel to Washington, D.C. with 51 other honorees

GROVETON, NH | Having a soft spot for homeless pets and a desire to help others, 12-year-old Girl Scout Joli Lunderville of Groveton has been chosen as one of two youth volunteers from New Hampshire for the Prudential Spirit of Community Awards for 2019.

The nationwide program honors young people for their outstanding acts of volunteerism. She won $1,000, an engraved silver medallion, and a trip to Washington, D.C. in May, where she will join the top two honorees from each state and the District of Columbia. There, 10 young people will be named America’s top youth volunteers.

“I feel excited,” said Joli. “I’m happy I get to represent my school and my community.”

Nominated by her school, Groveton High School (Middle), Joli and her Girl Scout troop worked to provide comfort pillows and toys for shelter animals as their Silver Award project. The Girl Scout Silver Award is the highest honor a Girl Scout Cadette may earn. Cadettes are girls in sixth, seventh, or eighth grade. Girls or teams must find an issue they care about, plan, and carry out a project that will make their community a better place.

Joli and her team members made posters to seek donations of materials, then learned to sew and taught officials at nearby Dog Mountain in St. Johnsbury, Vermont, how to make toys and carry on the project. Dog Mountain is a farm that is a meeting place for dogs with their people, complete with play areas, swimming ponds, hiking trails, and a chapel.

“Shelter animals do not have beds or toys,” Joli wrote in her Silver Award project report, “and animals should have comfort wherever they go.”

This wasn’t the Girl Scout’s only community project. She and her troop also built and painted a bench for a nursing home the previous year. Community service projects, she said, give her “a great warm feeling in my heart.”

She said she particularly enjoyed making toy mice for cats to play with, filling a fabric bag with beads, giving it a face, and attaching a feather for a tail. Making the toys and pillows “took a lot of hours and we had to fundraise a lot,” Joli said. “We want to try and keep the animal tradition going with Girl Scouts.”

Animals may well play into Joli’s future as an adult. She said she’d like to be a bear technician for Fish and Game.

Joli’s father, Brian, is proud of his daughter and all her hard work. “I enjoyed being a part of the project and helping the Girl Scout troop achieve their Silver Award,” he said.

Her family has always been involved in community service and giving projects.

“She has a very big heart,” said her mother, Tina. “She was always a top fundraiser for K Kids, the kids’ version of Kiwanis. She’s not afraid to ask people to help or donate. She loves to help people.”

Girl Scouts of the Green and White Mountains is also proud of Joli. She represents the G.I.R.L. (Go-getter, Innovator, Risk-taker, Leader)™ philosophy that guides Girl Scouts, where each girl is encouraged to prepare for a lifetime of leadership. Girl Scouts takes the potential of girls, combines it with robust skill-building programming, and adds caring adult mentors and strong female role models, to develop girls of courage, confidence and character.

The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards represents the United States' largest youth recognition program based solely on volunteer service. All public and private middle level and high schools in the country, as well as all Girl Scout councils, county 4-H organizations, American Red Cross chapters, YMCAs and affiliates of Points of Light's HandsOn Network, were eligible to select a student or member for a local Prudential Spirit of Community Award. These volunteers were chosen for their personal initiative, effort, impact, and personal growth.

About Girl Scouts of the Green and White Mountains: Girl Scouts of the Green and White Mountains is recognized throughout New Hampshire and Vermont as a leading expert on girls. Our Girl Scout Leadership Experience is a one-of-a-kind leadership development program for girls, with proven results. It is based on time-tested methods and research-backed programming that helps girls take the lead—in their own lives and in the world. Through our exciting and challenging programs, Girl Scouts not only participate but also take the lead in a range of activities—from kayaking, archery, and camping, to coding, robotics, financial literacy training, and beyond! Serving more than 10,000 girls throughout New Hampshire and Vermont, girls discover the fun, friendship, and power of girls together. Visit