Medford Girl Scouts Wins Awards for Volunteering Excellence

Medford Girl Scouts will be honored with two awards at the upcoming Volunteer Recognition Ceremony on Saturday, May 22, 2021. Jenna LaBissoniere will receive the Honor Pin for outstanding service and Medford Girl Scouts will receive the President’s Award for surpassing our goals and having a significant, measurable impact on Girl Scouts in Eastern Massachusetts (GSEMA).

President’s Award – Medford Girl Scout Service Unit

Some of Medford Girl Scouts’ leaders at the 2019 GSEMA Volunteer Conference.

Medford’s volunteers and troops have creatively adapted to the restrictions imposed by the pandemic to ensure that the girls can continue to rely on their troops, and on Girl Scouts, as a place to have fun, try new things, serve the community, and support each other. We retained 69.5% of our girl memberships this year (which was higher than the council average of 56.4%) as well as 73% of our adult volunteers. In addition, we recruited a higher-than-average number of new girl and adult members this year. In fact, only four Service Units in Eastern Massachusetts recruited more adult volunteers!

Cookie sales have been steadily increasing in Medford. Cookie sales totals for the past few years were: $179,700 in 2017-2018, $218,930 in 2018-2019 and $246,245 in 2019-2020. In the last two years, that’s a year over year gain of $27,315. In the 2019-2020 season, Medford was the top cookie selling community in GSEMA, beating out the second community by $4,200 in sales. 86.5% of registered girls participated in 2019-2020.

Cookie sales were down a bit this year, but we successfully pivoted to virtual and socially distanced booths, and online sales. Direct ship orders grew by over 500% in Medford from 2,336 last year to 14,878 this year and, as of early February, the city-wide Virtual Cookie Booth on medfordgirlscouts.org had received more than 160 orders and sold more than 1,100 packages of cookies in total since the cookie sale began. Medford was also the 9th highest selling community in GSEMA for the fall product cookie, nuts, and magazine sale.

Throughout the pandemic, Medford Girl Scouts have been active in the community helping with service projects like trash pick-ups and making care packages for the elderly in senior living communities. Troops and girls even found ways to work on their Bronze and Silver Award projects through the pandemic with projects involving community gardening, effective recycling, helping grow Medford’s tree canopy, and addressing issues of racial bias in the public-school curriculum.

Congratulations to all of Medford’s adult volunteers and girls! This award is for our effort as a community to come together and thrive as Medford Girl Scouts.

Honor Pin – Jenna LaBissoniere

Jenna LaBissoniere – 2021 Honor Pin Awardee

Jenna has a huge, positive impact on her Cadette Troop 69039 and on Medford Girl Scouts a whole.  As the city-wide Events Coordinator, she is as a resource for troops who want to plan events and she is the contact person when the City of Medford, the Elks, or other groups would like to invite Medford Girl Scouts to participate in their events, such as Memorial and Patriot’s Day events. Jenna and her Co-Troop Leader, Lynda Panico, also take the lead in organizing the annual city-wide Bridging Ceremony.

As one of Medford’s two New Leader Mentors, Jenna leads orientation sessions for new leaders to welcome them to the Medford Girl Scouts and answer any questions they might have. She also makes herself readily available to answer questions as they arise, as well as to join troop meetings to sign CORIs and help lead parent orientations. She is a consistent, friendly, and informative presence that troop leaders know they can rely on for support. She’s been in this role since it was created, having migrated to it after service as the Medford Troop Pathway Orientation Leader for several years before that. Jenna knows the likely questions a new leader is going to have and is prepared with the answers.

As a Cookie Booth Coordinator, Jenna is responsible for being the liaison to local businesses to ask them if they are willing to have cookie booths on their property. This year, Jenna had to start from scratch finding locations because almost all of the locations where we had booths last year wouldn’t let us have booths again this year, or weren’t suitable for contactless and drive-through locations. Jenna worked quickly to find places that would work with the pandemic restrictions.

Jenna is a warm, calm, and inclusive leader. Her willingness to be a sister to every Girl Scout shines brightly as she shares her knowledge and experience as Girl Scout volunteer with others. She is friendly and helpful, considerate and caring, and lives the Girl Scout Promise and Law through all that she does. Congratulations Jenna!

Medford Volunteers Honored by Girl Scouts For Their Service

Four of Medford’s volunteers were honored by Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts this year for all their work helping our girls become leaders of courage, confidence and character who make the world a better place. For concerns of safety, the 2020 Volunteer Recognition Luncheon was cancelled but GSEMA looks forward to finding other ways to recognize the awardees that inspire us, move us, and remind us that Girl Scouting is a movement of hope.

TracyTracy Longman-Keene – Appreciation Pin

appreciation pin

The Appreciation Pin recognizes volunteers actively providing outstanding service in support of the Girl Scout Leadership Experience.

In addition to being a leader for Junior Troop 67712, Tracy is also a Regional Delegate for Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts. This past year, he organized a multi-troop event at Camp Runels at which the girls worked on two civil rights badges (Four Little Girls and Civil Rights History). The troops also earned a Martin Luther King, Jr. patch and patches for Winter Camping, Homeless Awareness, and Wildfire Relief. They also sorted and assembled care packages for the un-housed to be distributed to members of our community who have found themselves without shelter during these winter months.

Always going above and beyond, we are so fortunate to have Tracy among the ranks of Medford Girl Scout leaders with his enthusiasm and creative thinking teaching the girls and supporting the Girl Scout Leadership Experience.

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Andie Farro and Evalyn O’Rourke –  Five Year Sustained Service Award

5yearservicejpg Five Year Sustained Service Awards recognizes volunteers actively providing service to Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts for five consecutive years since receiving their last formal Girl Scouts of the USA volunteer recognition, and have continued performance at a level that exceeds expectations of her position description.

Andie and Evalyn have been, and continue to be, the cornerstone of Medford Girl Scouts, each having served as Troop Leaders, Troop Cookie Coordinators, Fall Product Sale Coordinators, Medford Encampment Directors and both having done the difficult job of Service Unit Coordinator. It’s hard to talk about one without the other as they work seamlessly as a team pushing our Service Unit to new heights in membership and opportunities. Under their consecutive leadership Medford Girl Scouts has grown and flourished.

This year they served as Co-Encampment Directors, leading the first encampment for the city since 2010. It was a hugely successful weekend at Camp Runels in Pelham, NH in September 2019. Over 17 months of planning, they discussed, surveyed, and organized an overnight for over 160 girls and 45 adults.They created a fantastic itinerary with over 10 activities for the day and evening that met the needs of each level of Girl Scouts. Their attention to safety for all the girls and adults during the encampment was impeccable and impressive and they both work energetically to help leaders and to support the growth of the Service Unit and Girl Scouting. We are so fortunate that they are steering our ship!

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Rebecca Scott – Honor Pin

adult honor resizedThe Girl Scouts of the USA Honor Pin recognizes volunteers actively providing outstanding service in support of the Girl
Scout Leadership Experience in two or more geographic areas.

Rebecca is a Troop Leader for Cadette Troop 68137 and, on a city level, she has been the Membership Promoter, Co-Booth Sale Coordinator and she is the Social Media and Communications Coordinator, managing the Medford Girl Scout Facebook page, website, and leader email list. She also offered her expertise by presenting at the GSEMA Annual Volunteer Conference to help others learn about using Social Media in their Troops and Service Units.

One of the most valuable things Rebecca brings is a sense of ease. Everything is always manageable and doable when talking to Rebecca. She has a way of taking a situation or task that seems overwhelming and breaking it down so that anyone can accomplish it. This is one of the reasons she was an excellent Membership Promoter in the past and it carries forward with everything she does. She shares her knowledge and skills which  allows troop leaders to do things for their troops they might not have. Finally, by being so thorough and diligent with sharing information, she has helped enrich the Girl Scout experience for all the adults and girls in Medford. We are so proud that she is receiving this recognition, it is certainly deserved.

Thank You to Medford’s Dedicated Volunteers!

11149233_847595375329464_3262333328538346064_nGirl Scout Leader’s Day is April 22 and, to celebrate, a number of Medford’s dedicated volunteers were selected to be honored by Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts or by our Medford Service Unit.  On behalf of all Medford Girl Scouts and their families, congratulations to the following volunteers!  You give Medford Girl Scouts your best and your hard work and dedication are deeply appreciated.

The following Medford honorees will be recognized at the 2015 Volunteer Recognition Dinner on Tuesday, May 5, 2015 at 7:30 PM at the Marlborough Holiday Inn. Please join us at the dinner to celebrate the dedication and commitment these volunteers demonstrate. Pre-registration is required, $25.00/PP. Preceding the dinner at 6:00 is the Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts Annual Meeting. Pre-registration is required to attend the Annual Meeting.

The Honor Pin  – Evalyn O’Rourke
The Girl Scouts of the USA Honor Pin recognizes volunteers actively giving outstanding service in support of the Girl Scout Leadership Experience in two or more geographic areas. The Honor Pin requires one nomination, one endorsement, and the approval of the Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts Board of Directors. The recognition criterion includes:
  • Registered Girl Scout adult.
  • Significantly contributed to meeting one or more council goals in membership growth and retention, fund development or increased community visibility in two or more geographic areas.
  • Actively recognizes, understands and practices the values of inclusive behavior.
15 Year Sustained Service Award – Brenda Briggs
The Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts’ Five, Ten, Fifteen, Twenty, Twenty-five and Thirty Year Sustained Service Awards recognizes volunteers actively giving service to Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts for five to thirty consecutive years since receiving their last formal Girl Scouts of the USA volunteer recognition. The Sustained Service Award requires one nomination, one endorsement, and the approval of the Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts’ Board of Directors. The recognition criteria includes:
  • Registered Girl Scout adult
  • Previous Appreciation Pin, Honor Pin, Thanks Badge, or Thanks II recipient
  • Completed appropriate training for the position
  • Continued performance at a level that exceeds expectations of his/her position description for one of the following areas since receiving a volunteer award: Membership, Fund Development, Product Sales, Program, Adult Development, and Community Collaborations.
Appreciation Pin:  Jennifer Briggs, Andralyn Farro, Carolyn Heald, Amy Jayne McCabe, Monique O’Connell, and Leigh Kinsella

The Girl Scouts of the USA Appreciation Pin recognizes volunteers actively giving outstanding service in support of the Girl Scout Leadership Experience in at least one geographic area or program delivery audience. The Appreciation Pin requires one nomination, one endorsement, and the approval of the Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts Board of Directors. The recognition criteria includes:

  • Registered Girl Scout adult
  • Significantly contributed to meeting one or more council goals in membership growth and retention, fund development or increased community visibility in one geographic area
  • Actively recognizes, understands and practices the values of inclusive behavior

The following volunteers will be recognized at the next Medford Girl Scouts Service Unit volunteer meeting on Monday, May 11th, at Bertucci’s in Medford, 6:45 pm. The Medford Girl Scout Service Unit will provide appetizers, soft drinks and good cheer. This will be our May Leader meeting, where we will review some “business”, but the focus will be on celebrating our volunteers. Please RSVP to Evalyn O’Rourke by May 1st ekgorourke@yahoo.com.

The Volunteer of Excellence Pin:  Gretchen Gingo, Samantha Parris, Caren Sarno, Rebecca Scott, and Elizabeth White
  • The Volunteer of Excellence Pin recognizes volunteers who have contributed outstanding service while partnering directly with girls in any pathway (troop, camp, event, etc.) to implement the Girl Scout Leadership Experience through use of the National Program Portfolio (Journeys and /or The Girls Guide to Girl Scouting); or who contributed outstanding service in support of the council’s mission delivery to girl and adult members.


The Green and Growing Pin:  Jenna Labissoniere and Cheryl Rodriguez

  • The Green & Growing Award is a Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts Pin awarded to volunteers who have volunteered for less than 2 years with a troop or series, completed the Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts Learning Plan (Girl Scouting 101, Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts Orientation, “Essentials” for appropriate level) , participated in at least one service unit or council event or program , kept troop open to new members, shows commitment to the troop through early registration for following year and implements Girl Scout Leadership Experience within troop programming.