Three local Girl Scouts were recognized at the 2014 Girl Scouts of Central Maryland Precious Metal Ceremony held at the Clementine Peterson Activity Center in Ellicott City.

Emily Abdow (Juliette program), McKenna Hearn (Troop 1372) and Catherine "Katie" Ogorzalek (Troop 1899) each earned Girl Scouts' highest achievement, the Gold Award. This prestigious award is bestowed on high school girls who create and execute a project that addresses a community need resulting in short and long term positive change. 

For Ogorzalek's Gold Award project, she decided to inspire and educate others in the community about nature. Working with the Howard County Living Farm Heritage Museum, Ogorzalek developed a nature trail brochure that includes a map highlighting specific areas of interest. To help visitors stay on the trail, Ogorzalek marked the path with Native American stone signs. 

For the nursing home residents at Golden Living Center, Hearn designed and built two large garden boxes on wheels that are wheel chair accessible for both outdoor and indoor use. Residents then planted, watered, weeded, and eventually picked their own produce. The garden boxes were such a hit with residents that the center plans to use them for many years. 

Abdo's  project made local history come alive by designing a downtown Ellicott City Day, when she gave guided tours to underutilized historic sites including the Thomas Isaac Log Cabin, the Colored School, Restored, the Patapsco Female Institute, the Firehouse Museum, and the B&O Railroad Museum. Participants received a historical "passport," a wristband and a T-shirt with original artwork. 

Boy Scout Troop 615 at the Church of the Resurrection, in Ellicott City, also has exciting news. Three of its members — John Matthew, Alexander Bisant and Thomas Hoffmeister — achieved the rank of Eagle Scout, the highest award attainable in the Boy Scouting program.  To earn this distinguished award, Scouts must design and perform an Eagle Scout project that demonstrates leadership of others while performing a project for the benefit of his community. 

For Matthew's Eagle project, he repaired a church sign which included building a raised flower and tree bed to mitigate a significant drainage problem. The recent Centennial High graduate will attend the University of Maryland, College Park in the Honors program this Fall.

Bisant's Eagle project involved working with Patapsco Valley State Park to construct several new picnic tables. He led a team of Scouts who stripped rust off of old metal frames, repainted the frames, painted the wood table and bench sections, and built the picnic tables. In the fall, Bisant will continue his education at Howard Community College.  

Hoffmeister, a rising senior at Mount St. Joseph High School, led several adults and Scouts in a Eagle Project at an Anne Arundel County park.  The team rebuilt rotting wooden seats and floors on a grandstand next to a baseball field.  The repair work eliminated several safety issues by closing gaps (once large enough for kids to fall through) in the sides and back of the grandstand.

Congratulations to all the new Eagle Scouts and Gold Awardees.  

Howard County's Neighbor Ride is turning 10 years old. To celebrate a decade of providing affordable transportation to local senior citizens for medical and personal needs, the nonprofit organization is hosting a free community ice cream social from 1 to 3 p.m. on Friday, July 25, at Parkview Ellicott City (8700 Ridge Road). Rsvp to 410-203-9501. To learn more about Neighborhood Ride, go to neighborride.org/wordpress/.