Girl Scout leadership awards have been presented to Cadette and Junior Scouts throughout the New Orleans area who have made a difference through community service.

Silver Awards are presented to Cadettes in sixth through eighth grades who complete a series of leadership challenges that prepare them for a final take-action project. Bronze Awards are the equivalent recognition for Juniors in fourth or fifth grade.

In New Orleans, the Silver Award went to Rachel Carney, Rebecca Christie and Morgan Ruoss, of Troop 40709. The project adviser was Carrie Carney.

Rachel Carney decided to hold a Halloween costume drive, making fliers and announcements, prior to setting up collection boxes at a local elementary school. After sorting the donated costumes by gender and size, she delivered them to a women and children’s shelter that was thrilled to have costumes for the kids in the shelter to wear at a Halloween party.

Rebecca Christie held a food drive to provide snacks for a holiday camp for underprivileged children at her church. She ran announcements in the bulletin and newsletter, and collected boxes of food for the camp, helping to alleviate some of the financial burden.

Morgan Ruoss’ community focus was in her neighborhood in New Orleans, where she formed the Bywater Poop Patrol, after hearing neighbors complain about dog walkers not picking up after their pets. She created more than 25 decorated mailboxes filled with plastic bags. She asked to speak at her neighborhood association meeting and was able to solicit sponsors for the mailboxes to be placed throughout Bywater. She was even asked to participate in the Mirilton Festival as well as have her boxes be part of the Fringe Festival’s Yard Art tour.

In Metairie, members of Girl Scout Cadette Troop 40477 came up with a No Texting While Driving campaign. They created several messages that went on car window clings, bumper stickers and yard signs to remind drivers not to text on their phones while driving. The troop visited several area high schools and a driving school to share the message, which included participants in Cabrini High School’s Sudden Impact Program. They distributed a total of 2,600 window clings, which were printed with funds earned from bake sales. They are Jayla Baudy, Elle Cross, Teresa DiGerolamo, Raquel Jacquet, Laila Nuccio, Sophie Rose, Mia Sarpy, Tori Simmons and Jennifer Yrle. The project adviser was Yolanda Jacquet.

In Kenner, Grace Beard and Alexandra Johnson, of Girl Scout Junior Troop 40865, held a drive to fill the pantry at the Ronald McDonald House and compiled a cookbook of easy-to-make recipes. The project adviser was Susan Adam.

In Metairie, Cheyenne Johnston, of Girl Scout Junior Troop 40361, noticed that the USA map on the grounds of Our Lady of Divine Providence Church was wearing away, so she and others in the troop repainted it. The project adviser was Gloria St. Pierre.

In River Ridge, the members of Girl Scout Junior Troop 41270 wanted to help the animals in their community. After taking a class on animal welfare and neglect and volunteering at the LA/SPCA, they worked to raise awareness of the needs of the SPCA, assisting at an adoption day, organizing a pet supply drive, and creating collection boxes for their schools and parish community for pet supplies. They are Cameron Ducote, Margo Flores, Katey Haydel, Bevin Kelley, Phoebe Lookingbill, Olivia Messina, Molly Poche, Mia Rodriguez, Sara Sciortino and Emily Taylor. The project adviser was Cathy Rodriquez.

On the west bank, Rachel Bancroft, along with others in Algiers Girl Scout Junior Troop 40884, incorporated Earth-friendly ideas into their work at the JoEllen Smith Residents Home, where they used environmentally safe cleaners to wipe down walls and doors, in addition to putting in three gardens. Some residents have formed a Garden Club to care for the plants. The project adviser was Jan Bancroft.

In an effort to help others deal with bullying, members of Gretna Girl Scout Junior Troop 40844, working in conjunction with Troop 40050, helped produce a video on bullying that was shared with two local schools and the council. Troop members are Haley Donnes, Grace Gibbons, Janeé Kovacs, Davion Lemon, Gracie Monteforte, Sydni Osborne, Macy Rinker, Elizabeth Sylve and Erin Wallace. The project adviser was Nicole Rinker.

Girl Scouting’s mission is to build girls of courage, confidence and character who make the world a better place. For information about becoming a Girl Scout or adult volunteer opportunities, call the council office at (504) 733-8220, or visit