Parkland Press

Saturday, January 25, 2020
Madison A. Kocher Madison A. Kocher
McKenzie E. Greenawalt McKenzie E. Greenawalt

Girl Scouts receive Gold Award honors

Tuesday, February 5, 2019 by The Press in Local News

Madison A. Kocher and McKenzie E. Greenawalt were two of 80 girls from the Girl Scouts of Eastern Pennsylvania, who recently earned Gold Awards, the highest honor and award a Girl Scout can receive.

To earn the award, the Girl Scouts must demonstrate extraordinary leadership through Take Action projects that have a sustainable impact in their communities and beyond.

Debbie Hassan, board chair of GSEP, was at the ceremony to share her remarks and honor the girls with this prestigious award.

Kocher’s project addressed the issue of childhood hunger and nutrition in the community.

Without the benefit of school meals, these children lack proper nutrition and food during the summer.

Kocher, a junior at Northwestern Lehigh High School, and her team provided summer backpacks of food for hungry children, who attend Breakfast Bunch at St. John’s Lutheran Church.

Greenawalt’s project focused on revitalizing an area of the Kernsville Dam.

The previously unused space now has picnic tables and benches so the Bartram Trail can be enjoyed by the public.

McKenzie, a 2018 graduate of Lighthouse Christian Academy, and her team designed garden beds with native plants to support the local butterfly population.

She also educated the public about native butterfly species and their importance to the ecosystem.

“We are proud to recognize 80 inspiring Girl Scouts tonight as they accept the prestigious Gold Award,” stated Kim E. Fraites-Dow, CEO of GSEP. “The leadership skills and commitment to community that these girls have demonstrated goes above and beyond a typical service project.

“Each of these remarkable young women used empathy and observation to identify a problem in her community, and then recruited a team of advisors and supporters to enact a sustainable solution.

“These Girl Scouts are not just future leaders —they are already making an impact and leading through positive change. I cannot thank them enough for all of their hard work.”

The Gold Award Girl Scouts’ Take Action projects provide financial benefit to their communities as well, which truly emphasizes the remarkable power of Girl Scouts.

Together, this year’s Gold Award Girl Scouts completed 6,400 hours of community service.

Based on the latest service worth estimate of one volunteer hour, this represents a value of over $150,000 for the nine counties that GSEP serves.

For more information on the Girl Scout Gold Award, visit