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East County Wednesday, Aug. 5, 2020 2 months ago

Longtime East County Girl Scouts honored

Three Lakewood Ranch High School graduates receive Girl Scouts scholarships for their commitment.
by: Liz Ramos Staff Writer

It’s uncommon for a Girl Scout to remain in the organization throughout her entire school career.

Some leave because their troop disbands. Others quit when they get involved in other activities. Some just don’t feel it is as much fun anymore.

Brooke Martin receives the Dr. Elinor Crawford Girl Scout College Scholarship and the Lyndi Cyphers Memorial College Scholarship. File photo.

But three Lakewood Ranch-area Girl Scouts have been members of the organization from kindergarten through their graduation from high school. They have learned about the Girl Scouts’ mission while giving back to their communities and becoming leaders.

They have been rewarded for their dedication.

Brooke Martin, Leah Lurie and Lily Potter, who are 2020 Lakewood Ranch High School graduates, received the Dr. Elinor Crawford Girl Scout College Scholarship for their leadership and outstanding academic performance as well as demonstrating the characteristics of the Girl Scout mission, promise and law.

The three girls said they were honored to be among the 15 scholarship recipients.

“It’s flattering,” Lurie said. “All the time I was going to meetings, doing things to help the community has paid off.”

Leah Lurie will miss selling Girl Scout cookies and being a part of a troop. Her favorite cookie was the Lemonade cookies. Courtesy photo.

All three girls started in Girl Scouts as kindergartners because a family member was also a Girl Scout. In Potter’s case, her sister Cypress was a scout, and for Lurie, her mother, Heidi, was a Girl Scout. Martin has her sister Ashlynn and mother, Diana, to thank for being a Girl Scout.

“I like that Girl Scouts teaches girls how to build their confidence and be an honest and caring person,” Potter said. “It just teaches girls to go after their goals and not be afraid of setbacks or anything really in general and, if they see a need in their community or situations they’re in, to address those issues, find solutions and put those solutions into fruition.”

During her years as a Scout, Lurie said she had the most fun taking trips with her troops. She remembered that when she was living in Pennsylvania, her troop traveled to New York City and Philadelphia.

Now she is moving to Florida Gulf Coast University in Fort Myers, and she said she will miss seeing her fellow Scouts.

Potter said she will miss the positive friendships she made and the morals and values the program instills. She loved being pushed to make positive changes in the community.

Lily Potter loves the lessons you learn while being a Girl Scout. Courtesy photo.

“The different badges, journeys, projects and awards that you can earn and complete throughout Girl Scouts is definitely something that kept me engaged,” Potter said.

Each of the three scholarship winners have seen their own successes and been involved in several projects to help the community while in Girl Scouts. 

For Martin and Potter, receiving their Gold Awards was a big moment in the scouting careers. Gold Awards are the highest award a Girl Scout can receive.

Martin’s Gold Award project included teaching people of all ages how dancing can improve mental health. She went to elementary schools and a nursing home to give dance lessons.

Potter’s vision for her Gold Award project started when she saw a courtyard at Lakewood Ranch High School that was run down and in need of renovation. Her goal was to make it into a memory garden for students who died before they were able to graduate. She’s still working on putting the finishing touches on the project.

Lurie remembers going across a ropes course 40 feet in the air between trees with her troop when she lived in Pennsylvania. With the encouragement of her troop, she tackled her fears.

Martin was also given the Lyndi Cyphers Memorial College Scholarship, which is given to one Girl Scout each year. The scholarship is in honor of Cyphers, who was involved in Girl Scouts for more than 50 years.

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