Receiving the Gold Award for a Girl Scout is equivalent to a Boy Scout reaching Eagle rank. Carly Wood of Friendship has had her eye on the Gold Award since before she was old enough to join the Girl Scouts and watched her older sisters in the Scouts. Carly, now sixteen and attending Southern High School, has been a Girl Scout for 10 years.
“From a young age, the Gold Award was glorified in my mind and I knew I wanted to get it,” she said. “I am passionate about Girl Scouts and creating a sustainable and lasting change in my community.”
When it came time for her to choose a project for her Gold Award, she already had a beneficiary in mind: the John and Arloine Mandrin Chesapeake Hospice House in Harwood. Her grandmother crocheted blankets for the House residents and Carly won her Girl Scout Silver Award making fleece blankets with her Troop members for the House and two other organizations. For her gold award, Carly created a flower garden with native perennials for the House. After discussions with staff members, the garden became a memorial garden with family members of former residents donating and planting a selection of flowers in memory of their loved ones.
Carly received a lot of help from Friendship United Methodist Church, where her family attends, and from Greenstreet Gardens, Went Worth Nursery, Homestead Gardens, Sneade’s Hardware Store, Patuxent Nursery, Trent Hill Farm & Nursery, and Sunrise Signs Studio in the form of supplies, plants and advice.
In May, Carly, her family and a few friends began the garden. They laid it out, dug the plot, planted two winterberry bushes, a redbud tree, two birdbaths, small solar lights and a statue of an angel carrying roses. There will be an official ribbon cutting and planting ceremony on Saturday, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. and another on Sept. 19. Families of House residents will be planting black-eyed susans, obedient plant, butterfly weed, cone flower and bee balm. A sign describing the memorial garden will also be installed.
“I planned out where everything will go,” said Carly, “and there’s plenty of room to expand. I’m sure more people will want to plant flowers in memory so, we’ll just keep making it bigger.”
While Carly hasn’t won the Gold Award yet, supporters say her organization and work on the project will be rewarded in April when Gold Awards are issued..
For more information about the Mandrin House and Hospice of the Chesapeake, visit www.hospicechesapeake.org/mandrin-hospice-house.