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Four area Girl Scouts attain highest award

June 16, 2008

SMITHSBURG - Four area girls have received their Gold Awards - the highest honor in Girl Scouting.

Girl Scouts of Shawnee Council hosted its annual "Young Women of Achievement" awards ceremony in Winchester, Va. More than 160 girls, parents and families celebrated their success in earning the Gold Award, recognizing outstanding achievement in the areas of leadership, community service, career planning and personal development.

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

Katherine Ehrlinger's project was the Avalanche Ranch Catholic Vacation Bible School.

Katherine is from Smithsburg. She saw a need in her church community for a Bible school, so she organized and ran the Avalanche Ranch Vacation Bible School.

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She recruited and trained volunteers, planned the program and purchased all the supplies. She hopes to continue the vacation Bible school every summer so the children of her community have an opportunity to participate in a religious camp.

Courtney Bowlus and Deann Diehl are members of Troop 647 of Hagerstown.

Working together, their project was created to help animals at the Washington County Humane Society. They collected supplies so that the resident animals would have plenty of food and toys.

Courtney is a junior at North Hagerstown High School and Deann is a junior at Smithsburg High School. Both have been in Scouting for 12 years.

The fourth girl, Yelena Dewald of LaVale, Md., worked with Hands of Hope International to address the severe lack of affordable, convenient health care and access to educational information regarding healthy living habits in Guatemala.

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