Medford Girl Scouts honored the memory of those who served by reciting the Pledge of Allegiance at the city’s Memorial Day Ceremony on May 31, 2021 at Oak Grove Cemetery. Thanks to all the girls and their families who participated.
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
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 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!
The community group, Trees Medford, welcomes Girl Scout families and troops to care for newly planted trees by adopting a tree to water. The City of Medford waters new trees for one year but, after that, trees are on their own. Trees Medford is focused on the list of trees planted in 2017 and 2018 which may need some additional watering to survive and thrive.
BONUS: Adopting a tree to water is a fantastic way for Cadettes to work on the Trees badge. Step 5 is “help trees thrive.”
To let them know your family or troop plans to adopt a tree, email Trees Medford at TreesMedford@gmail.com
Trees that need watering may also have a tag attached and they should all have gator bags attached that can be filled with hoses, watering cans or jugs. Each one holds 12 gallons and the goal is to water them through October. If there is a tree anyone find that doesn’t have a bag, let Trees Medford know and they will supply them. They recently replaced gator bags on a number of new trees particularly on Governors, Century Street Extension, Auburn Street, and Hastings Park.
You can learn more about Trees Medford at:
Medford Girl Scouts sold a record number of packages of cookies this year. 31 troops from Daisies to Ambassadors sold 43,776 packages, which is a 21% increase from last year!
This Year’s Top 5 Selling Troops are:
- Ambassador Troop 65007 – 4,660
- Junior Troop 69039 – 4,056
- Cadette Troop 65456 – 2,785
- Cadette Troop 68137 – 2,500
- Brownie Troop 62969 – 2,304
The Top Selling Girls:
- 3,010 – Marianne (Ambassador Troop 65007)
- 1,000 – Abby B (Ambassador Troop 65007)
- 784 – Aubrey (Cadette Troop 65456)
- 752 – Lorelai (Cadette Troop 65456)
- 558 – Victoria (Cadette Troop 65456)
- 558 – Dylan (Cadette Troop 65456)
- Alessandra (Brownie Troop 72096)
- Sophia (Junior Troop 69039)
- Mia (Junior Troop 69039)
- Ellie (Ambassador Troop 65007)
- Bethiah (Cadette Troop 68137)
- Burlington Mall
- All Eyes
- Dunkin’ (154 Main St)
- Medford Post Office (Forest St.)
- Stop and Shop (Wellington Plaza)
- Tufts University
- Xfinity Store (Assembly Square)
And extra special thanks to our Service Unit Cookie Mentor, Monique O’Connell, and our Cookie Booth Coordinator, Nancy Carbone!
This year, the girl who sold the most cookies in all of Eastern Massachusetts is from Medford! Marianne O’Connell sold 4,408 packages, which is more than most troops sell in total. Marianne and her Senior Troop 65007 are saving up for a Girl Scout trip to Europe and selling cookies is the cornerstone of their fundraising strategy. They were Medford’s top selling troop with a total of 6,608 packages. Congratulations to Marianne and the rest of the girls in Troop 65007!
In total there were 244 Medford girls selling cookies this year for a grand total of 35,490 packages sold, which is more than Medford sold in the past three years.
The Top Selling Troops
- Senior Troop 65007 – 6,608 Packages
- Cadette Troop 65456 – 3,279 Packages
- Junior Troop 68137 – 3,003 Packages
- Brownie/Junior Troop 69039 – 2,899 Packages
- Brownie Troop 62974 – 1,656 Packages
The Top Selling Girls and 500 Club Members
- 4408 – Marianne (65007)
1000 – Allie (65007)
750 – Victoria (65456)
750 – Lorelai (65456)
531 – Alessandra (72096)
- 500 – Katherine (65007)
- 500 – Ellie (65007)
- 500 – Dylan (65456)
- 500 – Aubrey (65456)
- Rite Aid in West Medford
- Stop & Shop in Wellington Circle
- Modell’s in Wellington Circle
- Medford Public Library
- Post Office in Medford Square
- Tufts University
Special thanks to all the girls and their families who came to the Salem Street Burying Grounds to participate in Medford’s Patriot’s Day Ceremony. The girls collectively recited the Pledge of Allegiance, helped place flags on the graves on the Patriots, and then marched down to Medford Square to wait for Paul Revere to ride through town. It was perfect weather and a great turn out with girls from Daisy to Cadette troops represented.
The Cookie Cupboards are closed, the Recognition Orders have been placed, and the Cookies-for-a-Cause have been delivered, all of which adds up to the end of another successful Girl Scout cookie season. We are proud to report that this year’s cookie sale far surpassed last year’s totals. This year, 23 Medford troops sold 33,852 packages of cookies, a 27% increase over last year’s total of 26,515 packages. Way to go girls, volunteers, and our supportive Girl Scout families! We look forward to seeing how the troops decide to spend their earnings to pay for dynamic troop activities and to help make the world a better place.
Medford’s Top 5 Selling Troops were:
- Senior Troop 65007 – 4146 packages
- Brownie Troop 69039 – 3354 packages
- Junior Troop 68137 – 2705 packages
- Cadette Troop 71198 – 2200 packages
- Junior Troop 65456 – 2096 packages
This year, Medford has 7 girls in the Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts 500 Club for selling over 500 packages, they are:
- Marianne (Troop 65007) – 2,050 packages
- Allie (Troop 65007) – 1,041 packages
- Jennifer (Troop 71198)- 1,000 packages
- Abby L (Troop 71198) – 755 packages
- Bridget (Troop 68140) – 515 packages
- Allesandra (Troop 72096) – 501 packages
- Ellie (Troop 65007) – 500 packages
Each member of the 500 Club will receive a ticket for themselves (and one for a chaperone) to Canobie Lake Park, to attend the park and participate in the 500 Club ceremony event.
2017 marks the 100th Anniversary of Girl Scouts selling cookies and from the first cookie (Shortbread) to the most recent addition to the lineup (S’mores), Girl Scout cookies have been teaching girls how to run their own business, learn financial literacy skills, and work together as a troop to set goals.
Special thanks to our Medford Cookie Mentor, Monique O’Connell, and the Medford Booth Coordinator, Sammy Parris, and congratulations again to all Medford Girl Scouts for great work they do selling cookies, and all year ’round.
Rebecca Scott, Co-Troop Leader for Medford Troop 68137, was a guest writer for the Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts blog. Her post shares tips for helping girls earn badges as a troop or on their own.
Volunteers are at the heart of our organization. They carry their responsibilities with so much care, and we value all of the hard work they do to help girls try new things and find their spark.
Rebecca Scott, a co-troop leader for Junior troop 68137 in Medford, shares three tips for helping girls earn badges:
1. Start with a vote
At the beginning of the troop year, all troop members and their caregiver(s) are asked to review possible badges. The Badge Explorer page on the Girl Scouts website is a useful tool for giving girls an overview of the steps required to earn each badge. At the next meeting, we post all the different badges on the wall and give each troop member three stickers, each representing one vote. Each girl places her stickers…
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Medford Girl Scouts Complete “Take Action” Project by Releasing Ladybugs to Support Food Pantry Garden
The girls from Troop 72096, who just completed first grade, gathered together on Saturday, July 16, with several master gardeners at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Medford to conclude their Daisy year with a Take Action project: the release of almost 20 ladybugs. These small insects are formidable fighters and eat aphids, tiny bugs that afflict vegetable gardens. Controlling aphids is especially important because the food grown at the church is donated directly to the Community Cupboard food pantry. Fewer aphids will equal healthier plants, which will mean more food for the 7090 families that rely on the pantry each week.
The Daisy Girl Scouts spent the past few months learning about gardens. They planted and tended snow peas and beets at Grace Episcopal Church in Medford, which were all donated to the food pantry. Through this work, the girls learned about what gardens need to stay healthy.
They became interested in raising ladybugs and built small habitats to allow each girl to raise a few insects. Having tended them carefully through their larva and pupa stages, the girls were thrilled to watch numerous Spotted Pink Ladybugs emerge from their cocoons. On July 16 at dusk, after carefully watering the plants and inspecting for evidence of aphids, the girls released the ladybugs into their new home. The ladybugs now inhabit the Medford Community Cupboard Food Pantry Vegetable Garden, which is a new program started this year by the food pantry with support from the Unitarian Universalist Church of Medford and the Massachusetts Master Gardener Association. A team of Master Gardeners “champions” the program and are on site every Thursday from 1PM to 4PM, providing education, working with volunteers, and harvesting vegetables that are distributed at the food pantry on Thursday evenings.
The girls very much enjoyed working with the Master Gardeners to contribute to this local food pantry and they eagerly look forward to the projects they may take on as Brownies this coming school year!
Bordering Medford to the north, the Middlesex Fells is a network of over 100 miles of forest trails, and Friends of the Fells is the non-profit organization dedicated to protecting and supporting the harmonious use of the Fells. A fantastic resource for Medford Girl Scouts, the Fells is the perfect destination for outdoor programing and the Friends of the Fells are happy to be a resource for Girl Scouts who want to explore the natural world at their doorstep.
Medford Girl Scout leader, Ann Frenning Kossuth (Troop 65264 Co-Leader), recently started working for the Friends of the Fells as their Youth Programs Coordinator and Lindsay Beal, their Volunteer Coordinator, is also happy help. Troops or individual Girl Scouts can participate in regularly scheduled programs or they can reach out to the Friends of the Fells for suggestions, insight, and help setting up troop-specific programs. The best way to reach them is to send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lindsay has the following suggestions for different ways individual Girls Scouts and Girl Scout troops can connect with the Friends of the Fells. She says that:
- We frequently lead educational and trail service field trips for Girls Scouts. These can be by appointment, and most of the hike leaders listed on the calendar below are happy to accommodate them as well, if something looks intriguing.
- For older Girl Scouts, there are ways to get extra service hours. They can fill out our volunteer form: www.friendsofthefells.org/volunteer
- Older Girl Scouts can also check out our event calendar–any one of the hike leaders would be happy for an assistant: www.friendsofthefells.org/events-calendar
- If they have something more major in mind (like for a Bronze, Silver or Gold Award), we can also mentor match, and assist with community connections, and help brainstorm project ideas.
Troops can also head to the Fells to earn badges at every level. Here are some suggestions for badges which work well in the woods:
- Daisies:”Use Resources Wisely” petal and “Make the World a Better Place” petal
- Brownies: Hiker, Outdoor Adventurer, Bugs, Senses, and Making Games
- Juniors: Animal Habitats, Staying Fit, Geocaching, and Flowers
- Cadettes: Trailblazing and Trees
- Seniors: Adventurer, Voice for Animals, and Sky
- Ambassador: Water and Photographer
In addition, Troops can look to the Fells as a place where they can work on their “Take Action” projects for the Journeys, or their Bronze, Silver or Gold Award projects.