Girl Scouts Celebrate Gold Awards and Graduates

Hingham Girl Scout Troop 74005 members Jenna Burnett, Katelyn Murray, and Eliza Bastis have achieved the rank of Gold Award Girl Scout; courtesy photos

June 23, 2021 by Dana Donnelly

Hingham Girl Scout Troops 74005 and 74829 held a small outdoor celebration to honor their recent Gold Award recipients as well as the scouts that graduated from high school this month.

Eliza Bastis, Jenna Burnett, Katelyn Murray, and Anna Wagner have all earned the title of Gold Award Girl Scout. The highest and most prestigious honor a Girl Scout can achieve, the young woman spent more than 80 hours each over the course of a year or more developing and implementing take-action projects in response to pressing community needs. Their projects demonstrated extraordinary leadership, had a measurable and sustainable impact, and addressed a challenge related to a national or global issue. Less than 6% of Girl Scouts achieve this distinction annually.

Hingham Girl Scout Troop 74829 member Anna Wagner proudly wears her Gold Award Girl Scout stole at Hingham High School graduation this month; Photo by Maryellen Jones

Newly elected Select Board member Liz Klein spoke at the event and presented each honoree with a Town of Hingham commendation recognizing their contribution.

Hingham Select Board member Liz Klein reads from the Town of Hingham commendation presented to Hingham Gold Award Girl Scout honorees this month; Pictured (left to right): Liz Klein, Jenna Burnett, Eliza Bastis, Katelyn Murray; missing: Anna Wagner; Photo by Marielle Thorne

The Gold Award projects cover a range of topics reflecting the individual passions of the scouts:

“Hingham’s Helping Hands” by Eliza Bastis - To create a culture of volunteerism amongst the younger generation, she created an after-school club to support various local service organizations. Each month she created a fun and interactive service activity for elementary-aged students that benefitted charities like Pine Street Inn, Rosie’s Place, Project Linus, and the Hingham Food Pantry. She shared the organization and project information through the school newsletter so other families would be inspired to do similar work. The Plymouth River Elementary School PTO will continue to run the club in the future.

“Gaga Ball is Fun for All” by Jenna Burnett - Aiming to get children of all ages and abilities outside and active, she built an inclusive Gaga Ball Pit with an added wheelchair accessible door at Plymouth River Elementary School, as it is centrally located in town. She created an instructional video that is used by the gym teacher at the beginning of each school year to teach the students how to play during gym class and at recess. That video is posted online so anyone in town can access it and use the Gaga Ball Pit after school, on weekends, and on school break. Hingham Recreation Camp also uses it in the summer.

“STEAM Team” by Katelyn Murray – Concerned there wasn’t a program introducing young students to the skills necessary for careers in the STEAM industries, she created a 12-week after-school program for third through fifth grade students of all abilities that highlighted 12 women in STEAM fields with presentations about their lives and two hands-on labs related to the session subject. When the COVID-19 pandemic cancelled the in-person program, she transformed the remaining lessons into videos with instructions to complete experiments with common household items. She has partnered with Hingham High School’s Kindness Club to continue running the program in the future.

“Terrific Trails” by Anna Wagner - With the goal of educating people on the importance of maintaining and preserving public parkland, she worked with the Hingham Conservation Commission in More Brewer Park to blaze trails, mark them, and make them accessible for town residents and visitors. She implemented blue blaze marks and an intersection system that she created throughout the park. She held information sessions and small group walks through the park to introduce people to the trails. The Hingham Conservation Commission will continue her work at More Brewer Park and use it as an example for other public parks in Hingham.

All four of these ladies have graduated from high school this month and were celebrated alongside fellow graduates Grace Cushing, Genevra Donnelly, Samantha Higgins, Abby Meissner, and Brigid Nugent. Nugent is currently completing her Gold Award project entitled “Hingham Pollinator Garden” that sees her partnering with the Hingham Gardening Club to create a small community garden that promotes the population growth of pollinators that are facing extinction.

Hingham Girl Scout 74005 in front of the Hingham Girl Scout House during a year-end celebration this month
Pictured (left to right): Troop Leader Dana Donnelly; front row: Emily O’Connor, Keely Jordan, Catherine Delorie; back row: Genevra Donnelly, Eliza Bastis, Jenna Burnett, Katelyn Murray; missing: Grace Cushing, Carolyn Kennedy; Photo by Marielle Thorne

Hingham Girl Scout Troop 74829 celebrates graduates in front of the Hingham Girl Scout House
Pictured (left to right): Samantha Higgins, Troop leader Pauline Bogle, Abby Meissner; missing: Brigid Nugent, Anna Wagner; Photo by Marielle Thorne

Hingham Girl Scout Abby Meissner bridges from Ambassador to Adult in a traditional ceremony recognizing Girl Scouts as they move from one level to another of the scouting experience; Photo by Marielle Thorne

The graduates have been gifted Girl Scout Lifetime Memberships by their respective troops so that they can continue to do work that leaves the world a better place.

For more information about Hingham Girl Scouts, visit their website at or their Facebook and Instagram pages.

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