By Nicole Davis
Just a few months before they earn their Silver award from the Girl Scouts, St. Mark Girl Scout Troop 961 has earned a top religious award from the Archdiocese of Indianapolis. The eighth graders were the only Girl Scout troop in the state this year to receive the “Mary, the First Disciple” Marian Medal, an award for young Catholics in grades seven-10, to enable them to “proclaim the greatness of the Lord.”
Participation to earn the award was voluntary, and seven of the eight-member Girl Scout troop chose to pursue it. To earn the award, the girls needed to work through a book, interview people and more – a lengthy process.
The troop was honored on Scout Sunday, Feb. 5, at a cathedral in downtown Indianapolis. The recipients include Jenna Stone, Yareli Rebolledo, Anna Wilson, Autumn Grundstrom, Isabella Elliott, Lydia Traylor and Abigail Spina. Archbishop Charles C. Thompson presented four members of the troop who were in attendance with medals, and the troop presented him with a box of the Girl Scouts’ newest chocolate raspberry cookies. The girls also had the opportunity to do readings and petitions at the service.
“It was a proud moment for me as a mom and as a leader,” said Kathy Wilson, Troop 961 co-leader. “They were pretty excited when I told them they’d be the only ones to receive it. They went up there and represented themselves well.”
“I’m very God-centered and that’s how I run the troops,” Wilson said. When her son was in Boy Scouts, she saw them pursuing these same awards, so when she started leading the Girl Scout troops, she made sure to ask if this was something in which they were interested.
When they weren’t working on the religious awards, the troop was out camping and going on adventures, plus volunteering for numerous causes. All eight members of the troop will earn their silver award this year before they go on to high school – most to Roncalli. Five have expressed interest at continuing with Girl Scouts through high school.