CENTRE HALL — Members of Girl Scout Troop 4, their leader Krista Winkelblech and about 50 family members and friends recently gathered at the Centre Hall Lions Club Park for six troop members to receive their Gold Awards.
The Gold Award is the highest ranking award that can be earned in Girl Scouting, equivalent to the Eagle Scout award in Boy Scouting, and statistics show that only about 5.4 percent of Girl Scouts receive them. To have six members of one troop earn the Gold Award is considered to be an amazing achievement.
The award ceremony began with a flag ceremony by Girl Scout Troop 40035, led by Amanda Showers, and lighting of candles by the award recipients. Several guest speakers and award presenters were introduced and spoke in turn. The speakers included Centre County Sheriff Bryan Sampsell, Lynn Corl from the State College Elks Club, Centre Hall Lions Club President Vincent Leta and secretary Valerie Leta, the Centre Hall Women’s Club President Peggy Treaster and longtime member LeDon Young, Mike Connelly from the Nittany Leathernecks and State Representative Kerry Benninghoff (171st district).
Benninghoff noted that this was the first time he has ever heard of six members of one troop receiving Gold Awards. He called their awards good resume material.
“When we (employers) see these types of accomplishments, you’re going to get a second interview,” he said.
The girls received congratulatory certificates from many congressional, academic, and governmental institutions and organizations. The award recipients were Alaina McCloskey, Ella Smith, Sarah Zubler, Katie Gavek, Cate Goodwin and Kailen Winkelblech.
Troop leader Krista Winkelblech then gave highlights of the troop’s 13-year scouting history, which included many community service projects and trips to the Pittsburgh Zoo, Broadway in New York City and a trip to Washington, D.C. for the 100th anniversary of Girl Scouting.
The girls each spoke of their most memorable moments in their scouting experience. Winkelblech explained the meaning and requirements of the Gold Awards then pinned the awards on each of the recipients. A picnic meal followed the ceremony.