Local Girl Scouts get muddy to earn badges
Elaine Fix, president of the Fleur de Lis Garden Society in St. Charles, knew that children today don’t get their hands dirty and play in the mud as often as they could.
So, Fix and the Garden Society teamed up with area Girl Scouts to make mud balls – baseball-sized spheres of soil mixed with water and wildflower seeds. That simple action taught the girls to appreciate nature and gave them a mechanism for giving back to their community.
Over 125 girls participated in making and planting 1,200 mud balls, which contained seeds from Fleur de Lis Garden Society member gardens, at the St. Peters Recycling Center.
“Our members really enjoyed seeing the girls shape the mud balls with wildflower seeds and helping them earn their badges,” Fix said. “The girls learned that the seeds grow into plants that protect the environment by filtering pollution.”
Working outside also gave the girls a chance to be active. Health is one of Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri’s three programmatic focus areas, along with STEM studies and money management.
Honoring this innovative and fun project, Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri recently presented its Spark Award to Fix and the Fleur de Lis Garden Society. The award goes to an individual or group who serves in a non-traditional volunteer role. Bonnie Barczykowski, chief executive officer of Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri, and Mary Ann Altergott, volunteer board chair, presented the award.
“We were extremely impressed by the creativity and impact of this project,” Barczykowski said. “It is volunteers and supporters like (Fix) and the Garden Society, who think outside the box to help our girls, that makes Girl Scouts such a wonderful organization.”
Fort Zumwalt student to attend U.S. Naval Academy
Recently, Missouri Sen. Roy Blunt congratulated 10 young Missourians who will attend the U.S. Air Force Academy, the U.S. Military Academy, the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy and the U.S. Naval Academy.
Among them was Alexandria Marie Ostrander, a student at Fort Zumwalt East High. Ostrander will attend the U.S. Naval Academy.
“Our nation’s military service academies have a long history of providing young Missourians with the tools and training they need to serve as leaders in America’s Armed Forces,” Blunt said. “I’m proud of these young men and women and wish them the best as they follow in the footsteps of previous military leaders from Missouri, including Gen. John J. Pershing and Gen. Omar Bradley, who also began their storied careers at these world-class institutions.”
Applicants are considered on the basis of leadership skills, academic achievement, physical aptitude and extracurricular activities. A committee of Missouri residents reviewed each applicant and made nomination recommendations to Blunt.
New scholarship honors student’s love of theater
For the first time, Francis Howell High School’s Limelight Theatre Parent Board has created and awarded a scholarship to a recent graduate.
Jack McCarthy, who received the Trevor Joerling Memorial Scholarship, will be attending Saint Louis University for chemistry and pre-medical studies.
Joerling was a beloved member of the Francis Howell High Drama Club prior to his death last spring from Hodgkin’s lymphoma. During his brief time with the Limelight Theater drama club, many of the students and parents came to know Joerling and his love for theater and education, as well as experience his infectious smile and sense of humor. His spirit and courage made a major impression on everyone involved, according to Drama Club members and fans.
So, with the help of Francis Howell Limelight Theatre’s Cindy Angeli, the Joerling family, Francis Howell High School administration, Francis Howell High’s parents, and local business leaders, the Trevor Joerling Memorial Scholarship was born – providing a way for Joerling’s love for theater, education, comedy and God to be passed on each year.
The scholarship will be awarded annually to a graduating senior who best exemplifies Joerling’s spirit and attitude.
National Merit scholarship winners announced
On May 27, the National Merit Scholarship Corporation announced approximately 2,200 winners of the National Merit Scholarships – including Hayden S. Waid of Timberland High, Adam J. Cole of Francis Howell North High, Mason A. Kruse of St. Louis University High and Jacob R. Waller of Westminster Christian Academy.
Winners received a $500-$2,000 scholarship, which may be used annually for up to four years of undergraduate study at the institution financing the scholarship.
Those local students are four of the 7,600 high school seniors receiving National Merit Scholarships worth approximately $34 million.
Last fall, approximately 16,000 semifinalists were named, representing less than 1 percent of the nation’s seniors. To compete for these scholarships, semifinalists first had to advance to the finalist level of the competition by submitting a detailed scholarship application, which included writing an essay and providing information about extracurricular activities, awards and leadership positions. The semi-finalists also had to possess an outstanding academic record, be endorsed and recommended by a high school official, and earn SAT scores that confirmed the qualifying test performance. From this group, 15,000 students met requirements for finalist standing, a pool from which the ultimate scholarship winners were chosen.