Eagle Scout Abby Bennett goes the extra mile


Congratulations Abigail Bennett! She is the first girl in this field to win Eagle Scout, the coveted Boy Scout award that is the highest honor to be earned – and now girls can achieve it too.

Maybe some of you readers were as surprised as I was when you heard that girls can join the Boy Scouts. The rule changed in 2019, and Gardner, a town proud to support the Boy Scout program for over 80 years, quickly set up a troop for girls: Troop 7006. Girls from Gardner and surrounding towns who wanted to Greater adventures and broader experiences than those offered by the Girl Scout program have joined him. Abby is from Phillipston and was one of the founding members of the troupe.

Abby said she loved Girl Scouts and the wonderful experiences her boss, Jennie Chace, put on.

“We’ve had a great trip every year, even one to Amish Country in Pennsylvania. The trips were fun and rewarding, ”she said.

Abby took her Scouting seriously. She started out as a daisy when she was in kindergarten and won the Gold Award in 2016, the highest honor of Girl Scout, but she was keen to do outdoor activities and learn the skills her brothers had. acquired from Boy Scouts, such as camping, sports, ice cream. climbing, knots, archery, even shooting. She watched the adventures of her older brother as he ascended to Eagle and her younger brother who is on the right track, so when the opportunity presented itself for the girls to form a troop she was ready and eager to join us.

Eagle Scout Abby Bennett of Phillipston is pictured standing in front of Boy Scout Troop 7006.

Troop 7006 is reserved for girls, but it’s the same program as for boys with the same badges, the same rewards. Abby had to work hard to become an Eagle in three years, and she chose a very unique Eagle Project, inspired by the circumstances of the time – COVID 19. From her grandmother, Abby realized how much she and many older people were socially isolated and lonely. Abby decided she wanted a project that was kind. She decided to fill shopping bags with items that would bring joy and deliver them to the elderly in her community.

My husband, Gerry, and I were part of the households she served.

It was such a surprise last winter to see this masked and bundled up girl walking our way with a big bag. What was she bringing or selling? The mask hid most of his face, but his smiling eyes were warm of friendship and caring. She stopped at the bottom of our steps to keep a safe distance and said that as part of her Eagle Project, she had some things prepared for our enjoyment. What a pleasant surprise when most of the news was disturbing and upsetting!

We thanked her and went inside to check out the contents. The first thing I saw in the bag was toilet paper, a great choice, but there was a lot more – hand sanitizer, masks, cereal bar, puzzle, tissues, candy, a play on words, a packet of instant oatmeal, a pen, a small pad of paper and a delicious cider donut from Red Apple Farm. It was fun unwrapping one thoughtful gift after another. She called her project “Spread Joy, Not Germs”. And the joy she made spread.

Her Eagle Scout court of honor took place on July 31 when her proud mother was able to pin the Eagle badge to her daughter’s heart. Scout Leader Lynn Denette explained Abby’s vital role as the Senior Patrol Leader in organizing the new troop, and Abby honored Lynn with the Mentor Award for the significant impact she had in his life.

State Representative Susannah Whipps presented Abby with a State House quote and said, “The world needs more Eagle Scouts. They have all the qualities that we look for in leaders.

State Senator Anne Gobi praised Abby for her thoughtful Eagle Project: “This was the year we needed a lot of TLC.” As she handed Abby a Senate citation, she said, “It’s good to be first but it’s more important to get the others after you.” Abby already fulfills this task in her position as Assistant Scout Leader where she mentors younger Scouts.

Narragansett Regional High School Class of 2021 Class Major Abby Bennett of Phillipston.

Eagle Scout isn’t the only honor Abby has earned this year. She was a valedictorian in her graduating class at Narragansett Regional High School, and her GPA (GPA) was 100.476. Have you ever heard of someone with a GPA of over 100? I have never done.

His curriculum vitae is very impressive. In addition to his music, his theater, his class and his academic achievements, he includes many self-help and assistance activities, such as student tutor in French, student advisory council, counselor at the summer camp of the Phillipston Youth and his Troop Deputy Scout Leader. Extra work and awareness is a hallmark of Abby.

The sustainability badge she earned in scouting inspired her decision to pursue environmental science when she attends college at UMass Amherst this fall. She is a young woman who is sure to make a difference in the world, a good difference … she goes the extra mile.

Carole Gariepy is a resident of Phillipston and author of “In Isolation”.

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