Maryvale Preparatory School students in Girl Scout Troop 4441 have certainly helped make it a Gold Award troop.
Four members were awarded the Gold Award, Girl Scouting's highest rank, at a ceremony April 15. Receiving this award were Beth Kennedy, Katharine Kriss, Maggie Linz and Mary Rose Malooly.
The award includes a community service project that seeks to address a global issue from a local perspective.
• Beth Kennedy's project was called REACH (Respect, Empower, Achieve, Change, Help). She said she saw a need for an anti-bullying campaign to educate children, young adults and parents on the values they should rely on, the steps they can each take to end the abuse and help bullying victims.
Her project included creation of a website, projectreach2011.weebly.com, combining YouTube videos, brochures, art and presentations to both middle and high school students at Maryvale.
Beth's work helped Immaculate Conception create its anti-bullying program and was incorporated into Maryvale's technology class.
• "St. Vincent's Vegetable Garden: A Path Toward Nutrition and Self Sustainability," was the title of Katharine Kriss' project.
She designed, built and planted a vegetable garden at the Maura Pre-Vocational Center, a program of the St. Vincent's Villa that teaches independent living skills to children with emotional disabilities. Katharine created a cookbook tailored to the produce planted in the garden and a gardening guide to encourage care and use of the garden.
• Meanwhile, Maggie Linz created an inspirational garden, The Golden Garden, also for the children of St. Vincent's Villa. Her goal was for children who attend the school to have a peaceful space for quiet time, prayer and talking with their counselors.
Her garden offers a sensory experience of sight and sound by adding both a bird feeder and wind chime to aid relaxation. She repaired a statue of the Blessed Mother and decorated a bench to compliment the garden.
• Aprons Help Feed the Hungry was Mary Rose Malooly's project. She discussed needs at Our Daily Bread soup kitchen in Baltimore with the management team there, and found there was a need for aprons for the volunteer servers.
After determining their requirements, she took sewing lessons and created a specific pattern for the aprons. Through the support of parishes and individuals, she acquired the fabric and developed and trained a network of volunteers who sewed to provide the aprons to Our Daily Bread.
The girls are all students at Maryvale Prep. Katharine and Beth are original troop members who joined when the troop was created in 2000 by Diane Wojiechowski and Renee Lown at Immaculate Conception School in Towson.
Mary Rose joined as a sixth-grader when current leaders Sharon Kennedy and Andrea Kriss took over the troop.
Maggie, who like Katharine and Beth has participated in Girl Scouts for 12 years, joined the troop when she came to Maryvale from St. Ursula's Girl Scout program.
On Sunday, May 20, the troop honored the girls at a Gold Celebration at the Parish Hall of Immaculate Conception Church.
State Dels. Susan Aumann and Bill Frank were scheduled to present a proclamation from the House of Delegates, and Del. Steve Lafferty was slated to give each girl a State of Maryland flag.
Strawberries are ripe for the picking, so it must be time for the annual Strawberry Festival and Flea Market at St. John's United Methodist Church, West Seminary Avenue in Historic Lutherville. The festival is Saturday, June 2, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and features gift and jewelry tables, along with delicious strawberry desserts. Call 410-825-3969 for details.
Congratulations to Debra Gury, daughter of AnnaMarie Scharbeck, on her graduation from Towson University with a major in psychology and a minor in art. Debra will be working as an art therapist with young children at Shepard Pratt, where she did her internship.
St. Paul's Lutheran Church, Kurtz Avenue in Historic Lutherville, is conducting its vacation Bible school the week of June 18, 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. The program begins with dinner at 5:30, followed by Bible stories, crafts and music for kids of all ages. This year's theme is Operation Overboard. Call the church office at 410-252-3768.