Cadette Girl Scout Maggie Scanlan, 14, of Wheeling, finished three years of hard work on her Silver Award. This is the highest award a Cadette can earn.
Maggie, voted most creative in her eighth-grade graduating class at Holmes Middle School, and a troop of one, took on an ambitious award project. She made, out of felt, 12 stuffed animals -- four birds, four ducks and four bunnies -- for Northwest Community Hospital's Pediatric Ward.
Her leaders from Troop 1027 in the Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana Council Laura Jerbi and Marge Scanlan both of Wheeling, are proud of Maggie's achievements. While working on her Silver Award, Maggie also earned 26 Interest Project Awards which are similar to Boy Scout merit badges.
For each project she had to finish seven activities which challenged her values, leadership abilities, skills relating to other people and the community and knowing herself better.
The idea of each project is to help her learn and grow as a person. The interest projects are divided into four categories: skill builders, technology, service, and career exploration. Maggie chose "From Fitness to Fashion," "Fashion Design" and "Child Care" to go toward her Silver Award. Three interest projects relating to the Silver Award are required.
Maggie put in more than 30 hours cutting out each pattern for each animal, sewing and stuffing and finish up sewing details like button eyes and embroidered mouths. Her leaders helped whenever possible, like helping to stuff or taking Maggie shopping.
On June 8, Maggie and leaders stopped at Northwest Community Hospital to delivery the package to volunteer coordinator Gail Kreer, who was very grateful for the gift.
"My only regret is I couldn't see the expression on the kids faces when they got a stuffed animal," Maggie said, "I had fun doing the project once my fingers stopped bleeding."
The next step for Maggie is becoming Senior Girl Scout in high school and, if she has time, perhaps work toward a Girl Scout Gold Award. Maggie had completed the Bronze Award in fifth grade when the troop was at Twain Elementary School and had more girls.
High school will bring many new adventures for this ambitious young lady, who already plays the violin, is in karate and is an altar server at her church.