BEDFORD, NH – Four Girl Scout members were recognized for their volunteer work by Volunteer NH at its Spirit of NH Awards ceremony on Nov. 16. The Spirit of NH Awards are New Hampshire’s largest volunteer recognition ceremony, honoring individuals and groups who provide the volunteer services that strengthen communities and improve the lives of New Hampshire residents.
Girl Scouts of the Green and White Mountains, the council serving girls throughout New Hampshire and Vermont, is proud of the contributions of these four outstanding members. The council thanks Volunteer NH for recognizing the efforts of our members and volunteers across New Hampshire.
Dr. Patricia Edwards – Edwards, 65, of Bow, is a respected pediatrician, a lifetime member of Girl Scouts, and part of a four-generation Girl Scout family. She’s led probably hundreds of girls in her troops over the decades. Her mother was a troop leader, her sister, Anne Edwards, was once president of the Girl Scout council, her daughter is a troop leaders, and her granddaughter is a new Daisy Girl Scout. She began leading Girl Scout troops while she was in college and started supporting travel groups back to 1978 when she was chosen to go on a council trip to National Center West in Ten Sleep, Wyoming.
Her Girl Scout troop, Troop 20507, is often called the “travel troop,” since she and her co-leader encourage the girls to go on trips both domestic and foreign, earning their way with Girl Scout cookie sales. She’s also a member of the council’s Alumnae Association, where she participates in camping, travel, and other activities. Edwards is the troop badge expert. Her love of learning has led her to this role in the troop. She also encourages the higher awards and has mentored girls in other troops.
Jean Salmon – Salmon, 58, of Epsom, is not just an example of an outstanding Girl Scout troop leader, she is a mentor to other Girl Scout volunteers. This lifetime member of Girl Scouts always supported the Girl Scout mission, leading a troop right after college, and again when her daughter started first grade. She currently leads 10 girls in two troops from kindergarten through 12th grade. She’s been cookie manager for her community, a trainer of new leaders, and fall product coordinator. She is a member of the council’s Alumnae Association, and traveled to Europe with Girl Scout alums.
Salmon is a lifetime member of Girl Scouts, who began her experience as a Girl Scout Junior in Maine, and later earned two of Girl Scouting’s highest honors – the Silver Award and the Gold Award. She managed to keep her Girl Scouts active and involved through the pandemic. The troops typically meet at Holy Rosary Church in Hooksett, but have also met outdoors to stay safe. Her focus has always been on mentoring the girls to become young women of courage, confidence, and character, who work to make the world a better place.
Debborah Kaitz – Kaitz, 53, of Concord, has been a Girl Scout troop leader for about a decade, part of Troop 20507 in Concord, the “travel troop.” She is considered a Gold Award Girl Scout, having earned what was called the First Class rank in 1981. She has also been recognized by Girl Scouts of the Green and White Mountains with the Appreciation Pin for her volunteer work. She is a lifetime member of Girl Scouts.
She stepped up to be a leader when she found her daughter on a waiting list for Girl Scouts. This turned out to be a grand prize for our council. Kaitz led her troop and encouraged her girls to try new things, travel and give back.
Kaitz has been one of her troop’s main cookie managers for years. That is a full-time job for this troop! She is organized and encourages the girls to reach the goal they have set.
Girl Scouting doesn’t end as a girl graduates high school! Deb has been very involved in the council’s alumnae organization as well, helping to organize activities and trips.
Allyson Hocter – Hocter, 18, of Jaffrey, is a Gold Award Girl Scout, having earned the highest honor in the past year in Girl Scouting for her volunteer work. She is now an adult member, having completed 12 years as a Girl Scout.
Over those years, Hocter planned and led two badge-earning events for her troop and younger Girl Scouts, planned and participated in two coastal cleanup events with the Girl Scout Coastal Rompers, volunteers a couple of times a month at the Rindge Food Pantry, and volunteered at the Peterborough Women's Club basket bingo raffles yearly. She also volunteered multiple years at the Scouting for Food events as a sibling of a Boy Scout. She received the Girl Scout Silver Torch Award and Community Service Bar for these efforts. She earned the Girl Scout Silver Award with her Take Action Project to install a piece of handicapped-inclusive playground equipment at the Humiston Field Playground.
Hocter earned the Girl Scout Gold Award with her project “Creating Community Connections.” She addressed the need for volunteers in her community and for local organizations to bring awareness to what they do for their community. In 2018, she earned the Jaffrey Youth Volunteer of the Year award for her contributions to her community. From 2018-2020 she was an active member of the Youth Advisory Committee at the Jaffrey Recreation Department, acting as a leader to her peers and volunteered to plan many activities for her community.
We Are Girl Scouts
Girl Scouts bring their dreams to life and work together to build a better world. Through programs from coast to coast, Girl Scouts of all backgrounds and abilities can be unapologetically themselves as they discover their strengths and rise to meet new challenges—whether they want to climb to the top of a tree or the top of their class, lace up their boots for a hike or advocate for climate justice, or make their first best friends. Backed by trusted adult volunteers, mentors, and millions of alums, Girl Scouts lead the way as they find their voices and make changes that affect the issues most important to them. To join us, volunteer, reconnect, or donate, visit girlscouts.org.
Girl Scouts of the Green and White Mountains serves girls throughout New Hampshire and Vermont through volunteer-run troops, events, and virtual programs. Visit www.girlscoutsgwm.org to learn more.