‘Proud of myself:’ Shelton HS grad earns highest Girl Scout honor
SHELTON — Michelle Marty earned Girl Scout’s highest honor while helping Huntington Chapel and the Boy Scout Venture Crew 2017 in the process.
Marty, a 2020 Shelton High graduate and member of Girl Scout Troop 60086, earned her Girl Scout Gold Award after completing construction of a 12-by-12-foot addition to an existing shed on the grounds of the Huntington Chapel on Ripton Road.
“It was a win-win situation,” said Marty about the project. “Not only did I find a project for my Girl Scout Gold Award, it also benefited the chapel and my Venture Crew Troop.”
Marty, treasurer with Boy Scout Venture Crew 2017, said Huntington Chapel leaders had discussed expanding the existing shed for additional storage.
“The chapel sponsors the Venture Crew that I belong to, and at one of our Venture meetings, our leader asked the crew if they knew of anyone that would be interested in building the addition,” said Marty. “My dad was at the meeting with me, and he thought it would be a good fit for my Gold Award Project.”
The shed addition project was overseen by Marty and made possible with the help of parent volunteers, her Scouting friends and acquaintances and the chapel itself.
Marty said the work involved clearing out the space where the addition would be built, digging footings, pouring concrete and building the walls, floor and roof.
“I set this up by reaching out to local businesses to get donations and discounts of lumber and paint,” Marty said. “I also reached out to my brother’s Boy Scout Troop 28, my Girl Scout Troop 60086 and Venture Crew 2017, as well as Huntington Chapel members and my family and friends.”
Marty received two grants from the Girl Scouts of Connecticut to fund her project. Neves Brothers Construction helped prepare the ground for the shed footings and West End Lumber in Bridgeport provided a significant discount on the lumber for her project.
Marty also received discounts for items at Home Depot and Lowe’s and spent hours collecting bottles and cans which she redeemed to fund her project.
“I’m extremely proud of myself,” said Marty. “Throughout the process, from planning the project to the final result, I encountered obstacles. It taught me to persevere and not to give up, and there were times when I wanted to. But my troop leaders and family kept telling me, ‘you got this, you can do this.’”
Marty thanked Alex Wong and Kim Wilkinson, Troop 60086 leaders, along with her Gold Award mentor Nancy Greeley. She also credited the volunteers and her family who donated their time on the project as well as the Rev. Doug Steeves at the Huntington Chapel, Jason Mayo, Al Palumbo, Ray Reynolds, Joe Bazyluk, and her parents, Greg and Loretta and brother Matthew.
The Gold Award represents the highest achievement Girl Scouts can attain. In order to earn the Gold Award, Senior and Ambassador Girl Scouts grades 9 to 12 spend at least 80 hours researching issues, assessing community needs and resources, building a team and making a sustainable impact in the community.
“I also learned that it’s not easy to be a leader,” said Marty. “I found it hard to tell adults and my friends what to do — but as time went on, I got more confident and asked them for something that I needed help with.”