Five Members of Girl Scout Troop 54355
Receives Girl Scout Silver Awards

Displaying their Girl Scout Silver Awards are from left to right: Hannah Wise, Abigail Smagala, Adelaide Schiller, Jessica Windows, and Lauren Hudecek.

Girl Scouting’s highest awards—the Bronze, Silver, and Gold Awards—are a girl’s chance to make a lasting difference in the world. Girl Scouts Western Pennsylvania is honored to present Hannah Mass, Abigail Smagala, Adelaide Schiller,  Jessica Windows and Lauren Hudecek with the Girl Scout Silver Award.

This award recognizes girls who demonstrate—individually or as a group—extraordinary leadership through sustainable and measurable Take Action projects that address important community needs.

Hannah Mass wanted to help reduce the stress and anxiety children feel before surgery or while in the hospital.

Hannah conducted a book drive and donated 500 new children’s books to a local hosptial. The books provided would help reduce stress and aid in recovery time for children in the hospital.  They also would serve as a distraction for children awaiting surgery. 

Hannah, a student at Deer Lakes High School, is the daughter of John and Shannon Mass of West Deer.  As a Girl Scout member for 10 years she was supported in her Silver Award efforts by her friends and family.

Abigail Smagala wanted to address the issue of critically ill newborns being baptized while still in the hospital. There are approximately 50 newborns baptized at Magee Women’s Hospital each year.

When Abigail realized critically ill babies were often baptized while in the hospital, she wanted to help make that sacrament special even if it was being done without the parents being able to plan it ahead of time.  She enlisted the help of her family and friends and spent several months crocheting baptismal blankets. Once the blankets were completed, she asked the Rev. James Holland of Transfiguration Church to bless them. Abigail and her mother delivered the blankets to Magee Women’s Hospital on Abigail’s 15th birthday.

Abigail is the daughter of Joseph and Laura Smagala from Russellton.  She is a student at Deer Lakes High School. As a Girl Scout member for 8 years she was supported in her efforts by her Silver Award advisor Mrs. MaryEtta Filotei, her family, friends and the generous support of her church family at Transfiguration Church, who donated yarn, printed cards and donated their time and talents to assist her in this project.

Adelaide Schiller wanted to address the issue of cancer and those battling the disease.

 To help raise money and awareness for a local friend with rhabdomyosarcoma, a type of cancer, she held a 10-mile long garage sale on Bakerstown Road from Tarentum to Rt. 8.  She went door to door passing out flyers and also hung promotional signs in local businesses.  Kinniburgh's Graphics in Russellton donated 20 professional yard signs.  At each sale, there were donation jars for customers with a picture of her friend, explaining her fight against cancer.  Her friend has recently learned that she is now cancer free!  Each participant, or seller, was also asked to donate a portion of their sales.  In total, over $2200 was raised. The community was excited to hear that Adelaide is planning to make this a yearly event to help other local children in need.  This year's sale is scheduled for August 25.

Adelaide is the daughter of Charlene and Gerald Schiller from Frazer Township and currently attends Shady Side Academy. As a Girl Scout member for 10 years she was supported in her Silver Award efforts by her fellow Girl Scouts, local families and friends.

Jessica Windows and Lauren Hudecek wanted to educate area children about the evolution of entertainment and technology.

Both girls enjoy working with children of various ages.  They recognized how children today are inundated with the new technology, but have no idea how it evolved from yesterday’s forms of entertainment. 

Lauren and Jessica decided the setting for this project should be in the form of a mock drive-in movie theater.  They wanted to create a scene where children would be seated in child-sized cardboard vehicles as they learn about various forms of earlier technology and entertainment that may have been used by their parents and grandparents.  These ambitious scouts also took into consideration the age range that they had included and thought of forming an easy to understand explanation of how it all developed into what we use today. 

This event was held on September 10, 2017 at the American Legion of Russellton, PA.  Here, the girls provided hands on exhibits including, reel to reel films, records, 8-track tapes, VHS, DVD, etc.  A detailed timeline based presentation was given prior to the viewing of the Jungle Book on the “Big Screen”, while guests were seated in replicated drive-in fashion.  Guests also enjoyed lighted displays, old fashion candies and servings of movie theater popcorn, pizza and other refreshments.

Lauren Hudecek is the daughter of Elizabeth and David Hudecek from West Deer.  Jessica Windows is the daughter of Christine and Erik Windows from West Deer.  Both scouts are students at Deer Lakes High School.   As Girl Scout members, each for 10  years, they were supported in their Silver Award efforts by Scott Bochek of Bochek’s Collision Center located in Cheswick, PA as project mentor.  Also supporting the efforts of this project were the following:  Melinda Zott of Advanced Auto Parts, located in Harmarville, PA; Howard Windows of Pittsburgh Anodizing Co. located in Russellton, PA; St. Alphonsus Roman Catholic Church of Springdale, PA, along with many friends as volunteers

 Hannah, Abigail, Adelaide, Jessica and Lauren used their strength, talent, and skills and put their plans into action to earn the Silver Award while taking leadership roles. They received their Silver Award pins at a celebratory dinner on June11, 2018.

For more information visit: http://www.gswpa.org/girls/awards/silver-award/.

 About Girl Scouts: Founded in 1912, Girl Scouts of the USA is the preeminent leadership experience for girls and is the leading authority on girls' healthy development. Girl Scouts builds girls of courage, confidence and character, who make the world a better place. The 3-million-member organization serves girls from every corner of the United States and its territories. Girl Scouts of the USA also serves American girls and their classmates attending American or international schools overseas in 90 countries. For more information on how to join, volunteer, reconnect or donate to Girl Scouts Western Pennsylvania, call 800-248-3355 or visit gswpa.org.