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Outstanding Girl Scouts honored as Young Women of Distinction

YWOD Jan 22
Seven Girl Scout Cadettes in one troop were recognized with the Silver Award at the Young Women of Distinction ceremony in Bedford on Jan. 16. They are Caroline Allen, Claire Carstens, Samara Engelking, Courtney George, Grace Kasper, Ava Leader, and Avery Martinson, of Hampton, Lee, and Durham, NH. (GSGWM photo)

Bedford ceremony recognized Gold, Silver, and Bronze Award Girl Scouts in two states

BEDFORD, NH – Truly working to make the world a better place, dozens of Girl Scouts were honored by Girl Scouts of the Green and White Mountains for their remarkable achievements at the Young Women of Distinction ceremonies which took place in Bedford on Sunday, Jan. 16.

The Gold Award is earned by Girl Scouts in grades 9-12 who demonstrated extraordinary leadership in developing solutions to local, national and global challenges. They have answered the call to drive lasting, impactful change. They earn college scholarships, demonstrate high educational and career outcomes and are active in their communities. Each spends at least 80 hours in service to their community to change the world for the better – and for good. Twenty-nine Girl Scouts achieved this goal in the 2020-2021 membership year.

Dozens more earned the Girl Scout Silver Award, available to Girl Scout Cadettes in grades 6-8, and the Girl Scout Bronze Award, available to Girl Scout Juniors in grades 4 and 5. Cadettes give at least 50 hours of service, while Juniors give at least 20 hours.

Also honored were Girl Scouts who earned the Journey Summit Award and Service to Girl Scouting Bar.

Patricia K. Mellor, CEO of the council serving girls throughout New Hampshire and Vermont, noted that the awards are the result of leadership, dedication and hard work.

“Today’s celebration is a testament to the dedication and hard work necessary to accomplish the highest achievements in Girl Scouting,” she said. “These remarkable young women are a result of what Girl Scouts offers – programming that develops Girl Scouts of the utmost courage, confidence and character, who make the world a better place.”

The event was sponsored by Benson Consulting and Delta Dental.

Girl Scouts is a shining opportunity for girls to become their best selves. Find out more at

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Gold Awards

Elijah “Jax” Lembo, Exeter, NH - Rescue and Rehome is Elijah’s project to rescue horses from the slaughter pipeline and then rehabilitate and rehome them. She created TikTok videos to show the public the hidden problem of horse abuse and slaughter. She also worked with Hidden Pond Farm Equine Rescue, which trains some horses to become therapy animals and also offers trail rides and summer camp.

Melinda Rolls, Merrimack, NH - Helping children get past worries and anxieties was important to Melinda, who wrote, illustrated, and published a book called “Worry Stars: Helping Children Mindfully Cope With Worries for her project, Mindfulness for Children. Her little alien character feels “stars buzzing inside him” when worried, then learns mindfulness exercises. She worked with a clinical psychologist to incorporate helpful techniques children can put into action.

Sarah Hardy, Merrimack, NH - Keeping people safe while taking photos was the goal of Nature Selfie Stands, a project Sarah completed by installing five granite posts with camera holders along hiking trails in Merrimack, NH. People often put themselves in danger trying to take a special “selfie” along these trails, and her posts will make photo-taking safer. Hardy encourages posting to Instagram with the hashtag #gsgwmselfiestands, or tag with @nhselfiestands.

Elizabeth Whitney, Bedford, NH - Fleece for Furry Friends embodied Girl Scout sisterhood. Elizabeth, after hours of research and planning, set to work making fleece blankets for animal shelters in her area. She didn’t stop there though. Elizabeth teamed up with Girl Scouts across the United States and presented a slideshow to help educate and raise awareness. She ran several Zoom calls with girls outside of our council and successfully recruited several other troops to also make fleece blankets to benefit local animal shelters in their communities.

Silver Awards

A Bee’s Way HomeReagan Louiselle, Hooksett, NH; Katherine Thorner, Manchester, NH

Bags of HappinessCorinne Bernard and Sarah Carmichael, Salem, NH

Information for New Pet ParentsKaylyn Moulton and Molly Richardson, Atkinson, NH

Little Free Pantry - Sophia Day, Somersworth, NH

Merrimack Mask Makers - Christa Burns, Ivey Johnson, and Alexa Rigoli, Merrimack, NH

Moeckel Pond Pollination GardenAbigail Lewandowski, Fleur McManus, and Elizabeth Murphy, Windham, NH

Newfields Trail RebuildingAllison Reichert, Newfields, NH

Operation GAGA - Katelyn Billingham, Rylie Cahoon, Tatum Flanagan, and Roxanne Sherwin, Windsor, VT

Pediatric Hospital Bags - Caroline Allen, Courtney George, Avery Martinson and Grace Casper, Lee, NH; Claire Carstens and Ava Leader, Durham, NH; Samara Engelking, Hampton, NH

The Sport Shed - Elysse Bell, Amherst, NH

Upcycle Toys for Shelter DogsMarissa Hwalek, Nashua, NH

Whipple Free Library Heron Statue - Helen Carle and Molly Braica, New Boston, NH

Bronze Awards

Global Warming AwarenessJessica Bean, Danville, NH

How Can We Change the World of PlasticsEllianna Anderson, Newmarket, NH; Maria Curtis, Epping, NH

Operation Cleanup Lyme School GroundsDelfina Cote and Joanna Bujarski, Lyme, NH

Reusable Masks & BagsMadilyn Riley, Rochester, NH

Troop Outdoor CookbookBailey Hunter, Reeva Kopacz, Olivia Morin, and Molly Tappin, Goffstown, NH

Journey Summit Awards

Rena Gadbois, Sunapee, NH

Celia Osbourne, Sunapee, NH

Samantha Shughart, Sunapee, NH

Tabitha Shughart, Sunapee, NH

Service to Girl Scouting

Courtney George, Lee, NH

Grace Kasper, Lee, NH

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 

Girl Scouts of the Green and White Mountains serves girls throughout New Hampshire and Vermont through volunteer-run troops, events, and virtual programs. Visit to learn more.