Girl Scout earns Gold Award


It’s been 25 years since a Middlebury Girl Scout has earned the Girl Scout Gold Award, the highest award a Girl Scout can earn. It is equivalent to the Eagle Scout rank in Boy Scouting. Now Jillian Buckley, 17, a student at Westover and a member of Troop 64202, has earned her Gold Award by building wooden boxes to hold donations for the Middlebury Food Pantry.

Middlebury Social Services Director JoAnn Cappelletti said the boxes will be placed at Dinova’s Four Corners, Bannon and Hebert, Woodside Heights Elderly Housing and Shepardson Community Center. The new boxes are expected to be in place the week of Oct. 12.

The end panel on the food pantry boxes lists needed items. (Marjorie Needham photo)

The end panel on the food pantry boxes lists needed items. (Marjorie Needham photo)

After building the boxes, Buckley painted them white and then stenciled on lettering and a motif she and her sister, Lauren, 22, designed to represent the food bank’s needs. Gold sprinkles decorate the perimeters of the boxes. Buckley said the sprinkles represent the fact the boxes are a Gold Award project. Painted on one end of each box is a list of items the food pantry needs.

To earn a gold award, a Girl Scout needs to pick a project that addresses a community issue and improves others’ lives. Buckley decided to address the issue of hunger by building the sturdy wooden boxes to hold nonperishable foods donated to the Middlebury Food Pantry. Her project comes at a time when Cappelletti says there has been a large increase in the need for food pantry items in Middlebury.

Buckley’s Scout leader, Carolyn Barbieri, has known her since she entered Scouting as a Daisy Scout, which is the Scouting program for students in grades K to one. She said Buckley is one of the few Girl Scouts to go through the entire program.

Buckley, a senior, will go to college next year. “I’m not sure where I’ll go, but I want to go to a school with a lot of community service because it’s been a big part of my life,” she said.

In addition to her Scouting activities, Buckley will sing in Westover’s “Candlelight Concert” and will play the role of Queen Aggravain in the school’s production of “Once Upon A Mattress.” She also volunteers at the Palace Theatre.

Buckley is a daughter of Karl and Ellen Buckley of Middlebury, who teach at Memorial Middle School and in Reed Intermediate School in Newtown, respectively. She will be honored next June at a Gold Award ceremony held by the Girl Scouts of Connecticut.




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