Congratulations to Ellicott City's Girl Scout Troop 699, Boy Scout Troop 361 and Girl Scout Troop 102. Each troop has made lasting contributions to our community and earned the Scouts the prestigious Silver, Bronze or Eagle rank awards.
Boy Scout Troop 361 members Zack Newman, Ryan McNeil, Tim Lieberman and Jon Arbaugh, Michael LeRoy have been scouting together since they were elementary school students and members of Cub Scout Den 7.
Over the course of approximately 11 years, the boys, now high school seniors, served in various Troop leadership positions and earned 21 merit badges. Their dedication to community service, perseverance and hard work earned them the privilege to apply for the Scouts' highest honor — Eagle rank, a title only 5 percent of all Boys Scouts obtain.
Within the last few months, not one but all five Boy Scouts were awarded the prestigious Eagle rank for their efforts in developing and executing community service projects in Howard County.
Tim Lieberman built a fence for the picnic area at the YMCA of Ellicott City. Jon Arbaugh constructed and installed three rain barrels for historic buildings at St. John's Church and landscaped one of the buildings. Ryan McNeil built a meditation and gathering area with a raised fire feature at the Franciscan Friar's Shrine of St. Anthony in Ellicott City. Michael LeRoy constructed three picnic tables (two with disabled access) and applied wood chips for the playground area of the YMCA Childcare Center in Owen Brown. And Zack Newman built and placed Centennial High School Wingspan magazine stands at the high school, Burleigh Manor Middle School and the library.
Joan LeRoy, Michael's mom, exclaimed, "I am so proud of them!"
Girl Scout Troop 102 was in the spotlight recently when the eight member Troop was presented with a Silver Award for community service work. The Cadettes — Ada Truong, Jocelyn Truong, Anna Chan, Victoria Green, Meghan Reynolds, Amaal Yazdi, Jessica Moore and Madeleine Che — focused their community service project on their shared concern about how releasing unwanted pets can harm the natural habitat.
According to Troop leader Jane Chew, the Burleigh Manor Middle School students taught what they learned at Girl Scout camping events and created an animal habitat badge station at the Columbia Mall Girl Scout Sleep-in event.
Another Girl Scout unit, Troop 699, was the proud recipient of a Girl Scout Bronze Award. Troop members Lara Szabo-Banicz, Olivia Minnich, Julianna Mannarelli, Chloe Parkinson, Andrea Sicoli, Madison Bower, Megan Duffy, Mackenzie Strozyk, Christina Bodziak, Emma Grace Donovan, Madeline Hammond, Zoe Perna, Caroline Pearce and Garima Gupta chose a community service work project centered on supporting the environment.
Troop leader Ann Strozyk explained how the St. Johns Lane Elementary fifth graders studied watershed maps to determine how close their homes are to the Patapsco River. Then the Scouts participated in local stream clean ups at the Howard County Conservancy and in the Valley Mede neighborhood, learned about native plants and invasive species, pulled bags of garlic mustard and raised money to purchase native plants used in a beautification effort of the Arcadia Cemetery in Valley Mede (Dorsey Family cemetery).
Thank you to all the Scouting Troops who make our community a better place to live and work.