Three Local Teens Attain The Gold Award in Girl Scouts

December 8th, 2014

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – December 5, 2014


Three Local Teens Attain Gold Award,

The Highest Honor for Girl Scouts


Madison McManus,Caroline Peters, and Ginger Wardell

Accomplish Service-Based Projects to Earn Top Award

Fair Haven residents and RFH seniors Ginger Wardell, Madison McManus, and Caroline Peters recently earned the Gold Award, the highest honor in Girl Scouts.


Rumson — Madison McManus, Caroline Peters, and Ginger Wardell recently achieved the highest honor in Girl Scouts by earning the Gold Award. The three are members of Girl Scout Troop 1930 in Fair Haven as well as seniors at Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School.

To achieve the award, each girl needed to identify an issue affecting her community, devise a plan for helping to resolve it or educate others about it, and lead a team in completing a project that will have lasting effects.

“The Gold Award project involves at least 80 hours of work, and that is quite a significant accomplishment for high school students who have so many other demands on their time,” said Nancy Peters M.D., Leader of Girl Scout Troop 1930. 

Madison, who is 18, focused her work on Tenwek Mission Hospital in Bomet, Kenya. Madison had volunteered along with her parents, both medical doctors, for three summers at the hospital and worked with sick infants and young children. Madison saw the contrast between the young patients’ experience at the hospital in Kenya and the Art Therapy Program at Riverview Medical Center in Red Bank, where she is also a volunteer. “I decided to bring entertainment to the children, which helps boost morale and in turn decreases recovery time,” explained Madison. 

With help from the French National Honor Society at RFH and the generosity of the congregation at her church, Lincroft Bible Church, Madison collected over 150 art supply items including coloring books, crayons, and markers. While at Tenwek Mission Hospital with her parents this past summer, Madison helped establish an activity center for the sick children.

For her project, 17-year-old Caroline researched and created a professional sign detailing the effects of Super Storm Sandy on the local area — particularly the communities of Fair Haven and Rumson. Caroline interviewed a meteorologist and a geologist to gather data about what a storm surge is and how it affect storm cycles. Her visual presentation was incorporated into a professional sign that is now posted at the Fair Haven Dock (located at the end of Fair Haven Road). “Big storms like Sandy don’t happen often,” noted Caroline. “But when they do, people need to be prepared and understand them.” 

The goal for 17-year-old Ginger was the updating and refurbishing of the Youth Group Room for her congregation, The Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Monmouth County in Lincroft. Ginger’s project involved painting the hallway, installing lighting, and creating a mural depicting a chalice – which is the Unitarian Universalist symbol for The Light of Reason, the Warmth of Community, and the Flame of Hope. 

Ginger’s Gold Award project also involved acquiring more comfortable and age-appropriate furniture from donors as well as cleaning and redecorating the space to make it feel warmer and more youth-friendly. Under Ginger’s leadership, children created decorative flags representing the congregation’s values including environmental awareness and respect for the web of life, and the goals of peace, liberty, and justice for all.

“The project was a way to express my passion for Girl Scouts and Unitarian Universalism, both of which foster and stress the feeling that it’s OK to be yourself,” Ginger said. 

Caroline and Ginger have been active in Girl Scout Troop 1930 since first grade, and Madison joined the troop in fifth grade when her family moved to Fair Haven.

All three have earned the Girl Scout Bronze Award, and Caroline and Ginger have achieved the Silver Award as well.

“I am so proud of these girls, not only for their concern for the community and the leadership displayed with their projects, but also for being the smart, compassionate, and upstanding young women I have seen them evolve into over all these years,” said Peters. “This is just the beginning of great achievements for them.” 

The Girl Scout Gold Award was introduced in 1980 and has also been known as the Golden Eaglet, the Curved Bar, and the First Class award throughout the long history of Girl Scouts, which was founded by Juliette Gordon Low in 1912.

The highest award a Girl Scout between the ages of 14 and 18 can earn, the Gold Award is achieved by just five to six percent of those who are eligible. 

Madison is the daughter of Shanda and Stephen McManus of Fair Haven.

Caroline is the daughter of Nancy and Jonathan Peters of Fair Haven. 

Ginger is the daughter of Liz deBeer and Ted Wardell of Fair Haven.



Mary Ann Kampfe, RFHRHS Press Release Writer or 908-347-8885