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Four Washington County Girls Receive Girl Scouts Highest Honor

Photo Caption: L-R Jennifer Bowlus, Carly Chambers and Tara Blacklin. Not pictured is Alexandra Koch.

Four Washington County Girls Receive Girl Scouts Highest Honor

MARTINSBURG, WV- Girl Scouts of Shawnee Council, Inc. is proud to announce that four Girl Scouts from Smithsburg, Maryland Girl Scout Troop 647 have earned their Gold Award - Girl Scouts highest honor.
Tara Blacklin, Jennifer Bowlus, Carly Chambers and Alexandra Koch - Operation Santa
Tara Blacklin, Jennifer Bowlus, Carly Chambers and Alexandra Koch, all of Troop 647 in Smithsburg, Maryland, worked together to complete their Girl Scout Gold Award. Their project, Operation Santa, aimed to help three non-profit agencies in their community. The girls, who called themselves "The Pink Ladies," organized a collection of pillows, lap quilts and hats for distribution to San Mar Children?s Home, Cedar Ridge Children?s Home, and Homewood Retirement Center. They worked with two local stitching groups - ?In Stitches? and ?Close Knit Group? - to gather blankets and pillows for the project. The four girls also made memo boards, scarves, wreaths and cookie trays to distribute at Christmastime.
Tara Blacklin is the daughter of Gwen and John Blacklin. She is a junior at Smithsburg High School and enjoyed working on Operation Santa. Blacklin says her work on this project influenced her future career choice. Blacklin decided she would like to work in the medical field after learning how much she enjoys helping others.
Jennifer Bowlus is the daughter of Brenda and Dwayne Bowlus. She is a junior at North Hagerstown High School where she plays volleyball and softball. Bowlus plans to go to college to study dental hygiene.
Carly Chambers is the daughter of Lisa and Lloyd White. She is a junior at South Hagerstown High School. Chambers served as the Project Manager for Operation Santa. She has been a Girl Scout for nine years.
Alexandra Koch is the daughter of Julie and Robert Koch. She is a senior at South Hagerstown High School and is very active in her community. Koch volunteers with the Humane Society and has been involved with the Star Equestrian Center where she has assisted in teaching therapeutic riding lessons for riders with disabilities. She has also been a counselor for the 4H Camp of Frederick County, Maryland. Koch plans to study digital photography and design at college in the fall.
About the Gold Award
The Gold Award, the highest award in Girl Scouting, recognizes the leadership, effort, and impact girls 14-18 have on their communities. This award symbolizes outstanding accomplishment in the areas of leadership, community service, career planning and personal development. 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.
About Shawnee Council
Girl Scouts of Shawnee Council, Inc. is one of more than 300 councils that make up Girl Scouts of the USA. The staff, board of directors, and volunteers serve girls in 15 counties in four states: Allegany and Washington 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. Girl Scouts of Shawnee Council, Inc. is a member of the United Way.

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