Scouts Community Projects Receive Gold Award

Assistant Principal Dr. Scott Muller (left) and Principal John Murphy (right) congratulate Girl Scouts Hailey Rankel, Rebecca Oltedal and Danielle Henneborn for receiving the prestigious Gold Award.
Assistant Principal Dr. Scott Muller (left) and Principal John Murphy (right) congratulate Girl Scouts Hailey Rankel, Rebecca Oltedal and Danielle Henneborn for receiving the prestigious Gold Award.

Three Walt Whitman Seniors earned the Gold Award for the Girl Scouts of USA by individually completing impactful projects that helped solve community issues. The Girl Scout Gold Award is the highest award in Girl Scouts and is the most difficult to achieve.

Senior Rebecca Oltedal earned the Gold Award by implementing her project that created feral cat shelters out of insulted Rubbermaid containers for cat colonies across Long Island. Rebecca put together an event for younger scouts where they heard from guest speakers and animal canine officers and were able to earn their animal helper badge by learning how to build the shelters themselves.  The cat shelters have been dispersed across Long Island to 10 people involved in caring and feeding the cat colonies. Rebecca is involved in Lamp Lighters, National Honor Society, Business Honor Society, Art Honor Society, as well as involvement in the Wilson Tech program for early childhood education. Rebecca would like to study hospitality management at Coastal Carolina University after graduation.

Senior Hailey Rankel earned the Gold Award through her project that helped a local preschool create a library. Hailey coordinated book sales at Silaswood in order to raise money for the small library in St. Peter’s preschool. Hailey donated books to the library as well and even recorded some of the books in her own voice for children to listen to as they are learning to read. Hailey is in Lamp Lighters, Ambassador’s Club, Philosophy Club, and National Honor Society and is interested in studying meteorology in the future.

Senior Danielle Henneborn earned the Gold Award by painting a mural in Walt Whitman’s 200 Wing. The project represents the art and music portion of the school and serves as a sign for new students to see where they can get involved creatively at the school. Danielle completed the mural independently and plans to stay local while continuing to study the arts after graduation. Danielle is involved in the Art Honor Society, National Honor Society, Visual Arts Club, and Video Yearbook.

While reflecting on their favorite part about Walt Whitman, Rebecca noted that “There are a lot more opportunities here compared to other high schools,” and Hailey and Danielle agreed in unison.  All three of these Gold Award recipients appreciate the level of support provided by the faculty and staff and how helpful and accommodating they have been throughout their time at Whitman. Congratulations to all three Girl Scouts on earning this prestigious award!