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Girl Scouts go for the gold

Local troops provide leadership opportunities for members, scoutmaster says.

May 23, 2012|By Bill Kisliuk, bill.kisliuk@latimes.com
  • Gold Award winner Olivia Hudnut steps forward to receive her award during the annual Girl Scout Gold, Sliver and Bronze Awards ceremony at Lanterman Auditorium in La Canada Flintridge.
Gold Award winner Olivia Hudnut steps forward to receive… (Photo by Mike Mullen )

La Cañada Flintridge is Girl Scouts country, and on Sunday the most recent class of accomplished young women took the stage at Lanterman Auditorium in acknowledgment of their accomplishments.

This year 29 young women received the Gold Award, a high honor equivalent to earning an Eagle Scouts badge in the Boy Scouts.

Christie Frandsen, mother of five Girl Scouts and leader of La Cañada Troop 3631, served as master of ceremonies. She said La Cañada is home to nearly 100 troops, about 1,000 Girl Scouts and more than 700 adult volunteers.

Over the years, she said, the local Scouting program has become more geared toward leadership and community service than programs elsewhere that concentrate on outdoors adventures and skills.

“Our girls in La Cañada are extremely busy, and their parents have been able to give them a lot of enrichment opportunities,” said Frandsen. “What they can’t give them are leadership opportunities.”

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The leadership work “looks good on college resumes,” Frandsen acknowledged. More important, she said, “They are becoming really wonderful human beings through the experiences that we have.”

Kristine Michelle Seuylemezian of La Cañada High School earned her award by creating a Garden of Hope at Glendale Adventist Medical Center, a quiet place where patients undergoing cancer treatment can relax and reflect.

Rachel Kim, a member of the South Korea-based religious and charitable group Milal Mission, hand-made tote bags to encourage recycling and inspired members of her church to set up recycling bins and to rely on reusable materials.

La Cañada High student Lynn Catherine Gilmour donated kitchen supplies and taught cooking classes to residents of the Door of Hope, which operates shelters in Pasadena and Glendale.

Anastasia Michelle Dewar created a fitness and nutrition program for children at the Union Rescue Mission in Los Angeles. Ashley Clark raised funds and guided some 60 volunteers into the mountains to plant 1,000 saplings in the wake of the 2009 Station fire.

Other Gold Award recipients in 2012 include Stephanie Amanda Bathke, Madelyn Wright Brown, Joelle Alexandra Dorse, Caroline Rose Fontes, Elizabeth Victoria Fogarty, Katherine Davila Franklin, Katherine Goetz, Olivia Natale Hudnut, Janna Kristine Johnson, Katherine Jung, Brittany Kolb, Natalie Mary Larsen, Lillian Jean Lugosi, Erin Lyn McCoy, Robin Grace Miketta, Maren Campbell Owen, Brianna Tess Pygin, Morgan Ashley Stevens, Emily Ann Temple, Madison Michelle Barili Teodo, Aubri Joanne Thompson, Kendall Marie Walbrecht, Amanda Michelle Wojciechowski and Joely Seif Zuker.

Younger girls also received silver or bronze awards during the ceremony.

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the Girl Scouts.

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