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Girl Scouts earn Gold Awards

June 09, 2006

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - Girl Scouts of Shawnee Council Inc. held its annual Young Women of Achievement Ceremony last month to recognize Gold Award recipients and other girls throughout the council's 15-county service area.

Fifteen girls from Shawnee Council earned Gold Awards this year. Three of them - Erin Gantz, April Hoffman and Rachel Lighter - are from Hagerstown.

Erin, April and Rachel, all of Girl Scout Troop 169, worked together to complete their Girl Scout Gold Award project, Homewood Courtyard Garden.

They chose to create a garden space in an existing courtyard at Homewood, a retirement center in Williamsport.

They created a space with new steppingstones, benches, a turtle pond and an archway. Then, they hosted a ceremony with the Homewood residents to dedicate the new space.

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"It's great for the well-being of the residents," Erin said.

Erin Gantz



Erin is a senior at Boonsboro High School, where she is captain of the Quiz Bowl Team and a member of the drama department, the National Honor Society, and the Select and Women's Vocal Ensembles.

Through her work with her Girl Scout Troop, she has earned her Girl Scout Silver Award and has volunteered many hours for Scouting events.

She is active in her community, spearheading the involvement of NHS in the Antietam Illumination, tutoring students in chemistry and French, and volunteering with REACH Cold Weather Shelter in Hagerstown.

Erin plans to attend college in the fall, likely majoring in chemistry. She advises future Gold Award go-getters to "plan early and be sure of yourself and your abilities."

April Hoffman



April is a junior at Boonsboro High School, where she is on the golf team, and plays the flute and piccolo in the school band. In addition, she takes ballet, tap and jazz and teaches her own dance class.

April has earned the Cadette and Senior Leadership Awards, the Cadette and Senior Girl Scout Challenge Pins, and a Girl Scout Silver Award.

April plans to major in medicine in college.

Her advice to other Girl Scouts seeking a Gold Award is that "you have to be dedicated and hardworking to complete the tasks that are required to earn the Girl Scout Gold Award."

Rachel Lighter



Rachel is a graduate of South Hagerstown High School and attends Hagerstown Community College, where she studies music education and music therapy.

She is in the Hagerstown Municipal Band, Rohrersville Community Band and the HCC Jazz Band. She has served as the co-chair of her church youth ministry committee.

Rachel has earned the Girl Scout Silver Award.

The Gold Award, the highest in Girl Scouting, recognizes the leadership, effort and impact girls ages 14-18 have on their communities.

The award symbolizes outstanding accomplishment in the areas of leadership, community service, career planning and personal development, the council said.

Each girl must exhibit maturity, willingness to take responsibility, commitment to self, community, the world and the future, and the ability to follow a plan and complete a significant challenge project.

The Shawnee Council is among more than 300 councils in Girl Scouts nationwide. The local council serves girls in Washington and Allegany counties in Maryland; Bedford County in Pennsylvania; Clarke, Frederick, Page, Shenandoah and Warren counties in Virginia; and Berkeley, Grant, Hampshire, Hardy, Jefferson, Mineral and Morgan counties in West Virginia.

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