Thursday, June 14, 2012

Following Troop 522 to the Gold in Long Island

Newsday reports that Connie Fratianni-Wysota, mother and adult Girl Scout Volunteer, has watched her troop of girls bloom from Girl Scout Daisies into mature Girl Scout Gold Award winners. As she gathered Troop 522 of the Girl Scouts of Nassau County for a picture, she knew it was going to be an emotional night.

This year, 11 of 12 girls in Manhasset’s Troop 522 received the Gold Award, with the 12th in the process of completing her project. The Manhasset troop was among 121 Girl Scouts from Nassau County who received the award during a ceremony at Adelphi University Tuesday night.

“I watched these girls grow up. It’s an amazing commitment on their part — they have stuck with the program since they were in kindergarten. To watch their progress has been an amazing experience,” said Fratianni-Wysota, whose daughter, Alexandra, a Manhasset High School senior, was one of the honorees Tuesday.

To be eligible for the award, applicants must choose an issue important to them and educate others about their cause. Applicants are high school students who devote time to community service and create a presentation highlighting their efforts.

According to Donna Ceravolo, executive director of the Girl Scouts of Nassau County, only 5.4 percent of eligible Girl Scouts throughout the country received the Gold Award last year.

“Most troops don’t stay together; many groups shrink after the girls enter middle school or high school,” Fratianni-Wysota said. “With high school graduation, tests and getting ready for college, it takes a lot of effort to do this.”

The ceremony included a special performance by the Girl Scouts of Nassau County Chorus. Each Gold Award winner was called up on stage to receive her award while her achievements were highlighted.

“It was very rewarding,” said Nicole Kiess, also of Troop 522, who helped run a summer camp for impoverished children in Webster Springs, W.Va. “By the end, we learned a lot.”