Alyssa Sutton

Eleven Girl Scouts in fourth and fifth grade were given bronze awards this weekend.

The bronze award is earned as a group and requires the scouts to complete what is known as their “leadership journey.”

The steps to finish the project are to build a team, explore the community, choose a project, create a plan to carry it out, and put the plan in motion while spreading the word.

“Girl Scout Troop #50145 had 11 girls earn a bronze this year,” said Angela D’Antonio, the leader of Troop #50145 and service unit manager over Baker, Union and Wallowa counties. “The journey was about how to reduce your carbon footprint, reduce your plastic waste, and evaluate building designs for energy efficiency. After completing the journey, the girls decided to make reusable grocery bags to hand out to the community outside Safeway.”

D’Antonio added that Blue Mountain Outfitters helped the troop collect unused T-shirts that they converted into bags.

“They created a means for the community to use less plastic bags and (it will have) a lasting effect in the community,” she said.

On Saturday the scouts who were involved in the bronze award project — Olivia Thornburg, Sophia Thornburg, Cecilia Villagomez, Ruby Gregg, Ella Hayden, Julia Kellogg, Opal Alf Rippee, Gracie Tucker, Grace Aldrich, Norah Wright and Maylie Eby — were part of a bridging ceremony.

“The bridging ceremony is an annual event where we celebrate girls who move up to higher levels in Girl Scouts,” D’Antonio said. “Depending on the grade level, girls go from Daisy to Brownie to Junior to Cadette to Seniors to Ambassadors.”

Also at the ceremony, volunteers are acknowledged for the work they do among the troops.

“This year we have two volunteers who have served for five years, and one with 15 years of volunteering with the local Girl Scouts. We also are awarding a Guiding Star award to an adult who has gone above and beyond for her service to the area,” D’Antonio said.

This year the five-year awards were given to D’Antonio and Jenny Aldrich. Aldrich was also the recipient of the Guiding Star, while the 15-year-award recipient was Trish Ingram.

See complete story in Monday's Observer