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Hillsborough, NJ 08844

Girl Scout Week 2021

For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Sue Mayer.  I am the current Service Unit Manager for Hillsborough Girl Scouts.  We normally bring together as many Girl Scouts as possible to share in this proclamation, but things are obviously a little different this year.  While I stand here with a much smaller group tonight, I am honored to accept this proclamation on behalf of the 412 Girl Scouts and 338 adult members here in Hillsborough.

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In Girl Scouts, we say that G-I-R-L stands for go-getter, innovator, risk taker, and leader.  I would say our girls’ and our volunteers’ ability to pivot during the pandemic has exemplified that acronym.  

Our programs initially went virtual for the initial months; some troops embraced online meeting platforms and others found ways to meet socially distanced.

Once permitted, our service unit outdoors team eagerly found ways to encourage our troops to explore the outdoors through hiking and environmental activities this fall, and snow tubing a few weeks ago.  We are looking forward to Camp Dewitt, the Girl Scout camp here in Hillsborough, to be re-opening for day camp this summer.

While some of our community service projects, like our annual pink pumpkin painting for breast cancer, our support of township Halloween activities, and preparation of meals for SHIP in Somerville continued, some of our presence was transformed into new alternative programs, including bringing some brightness to our local assisted living facilities through parking lot Halloween parades, troops recording holiday carols for distribution rather than in-person singing, and creating Valentine’s Day decorations for their facilities’ windows.   We had 90 girls meet the requirements for our SU72 Community Service Award last spring.  For the 2019-2020 Girl Scout year we had 25 of our Girl Scouts meet the hours requirements to earn the President’s Volunteer Service Award, a national recognition for dedication to service, where they each received a signed certificate from the President of the United States.  Those 25 girls alone participated in a total of over 1400 hours of service combined.

Our older Girl Scouts continue to take action in the community through their Bronze, Silver, and Gold Awards projects.  While the pandemic introduced unforeseen challenges, many girls found creative solutions, educating the community on issues they were passionate about through creating virtual webinars on topics from knitting to computer programming.  They built their own websites, authored blogs, and recorded videos on a variety of topics.  They provided much needed community activities with social distance in mind. They continued to reach out and inspire younger Girl Scouts to know that they still have the power to make positive change in the world.  Since the start of the pandemic, we have had 31 girls complete their Bronze Award, 27 girls complete their Silver, and 3 girls complete their Gold Awards, the highest award a Girl Scout can earn, with two of the girls being recognized here tonight.  Some of those projects were helped by local businesses and non-profit organizations, so we want to thank them for their continued support.

You may have seen fewer Girl Scouts this cookie season, but please know our young entrepreneurs are still out selling in a limited number of booths the next few weekends.  If you already bought, thank you for supporting our troops, as cookie sales not only teach them business skills, but allow the girls to earn funds for their troop’s projects and community service activities.  Cookie sales also financially support our local Council’s staff and properties like Camp Dewitt.  

I would like to thank our dedicated Hillsborough volunteers for providing leadership, mentoring, and opportunity for our girls to be the next CEO, vaccine scientist, architect, activist, artist, or whatever they choose to be!  I know this past year brought unfathomable challenges to your roles.  Our volunteers include front-line workers, parents of young children navigating virtual schooling, and those who experienced tremendous personal losses due to COVID-19.  So I personally thank you for your continued dedication.

As the 2021 Girl Scout week continues this week, I invite the community to celebrate 109 years with the largest organization serving young female leaders with courage, confidence, and character.  

If you wish to watch as our Girl Scouts continue to grow, I encourage you to check out our Facebook page Hillsborough NJ Girl Scouts GSHNJ - SU72 or visit the News section of our website borogirlscouts.org. Thank you!

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Sue Mayer, Service Unit Manager
Jennifer Cridge, Asst. Service Unit Manager
Hillsborough Girl Scouts - SU 72
Visit us on the web at www.borogirlscouts.org

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