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FOUR SENIOR GIRL SCOUTS EARN GOLD AWARDS, HIGHEST HONOR.

Byline: Daily News

LANCASTER - Four senior Girl Scouts were presented with Girl Scouting's highest award during a ceremony at Lancaster Elks Lodge 1625.

Earning Gold Awards - equivalent to the Eagle badge in Boy Scouts - were Sharon Bowers, Danielle Pedersen, Virginia Pedersen and Chenin Simi of Girl Scout Troop 116.

They have been working toward their Gold Awards for the past four years. Among the four of them, they have contributed thousands of hours of community service, both through Scouting and other service organizations.

Services to the Elks Lodge have included performing flag ceremonies at the annual Hoop Shoot basketball contests and at the lodge's Youth Olympics.

At their high schools, all four have maintained a grade-point average of 3.5 or higher, and have been involved in cheerleading, sports, band, Junior ROTC and other activities.

Bowers and the Pedersen twins have been participating in Girl Scouting for more than 13 years, always in the same troop headed by leader Joan Bowers.

Simi, a Girl Scout for 11 years, joined the troop four years ago when the troop she had been in disbanded.

All four girls previously earned the Silver Award, the second-highest award in Girl Scouting.

Bowers, a recent graduate of Quartz Hill High School, was a Quartz Hill cheerleader for four years. She also served in Girl Scouts as service unit manager and regional representative for one year each. She earned the Girl Scout Image Award in 2004, presented to a member of Scouting who goes above and beyond the call of duty. In the fall, Bowers will attend the University of Hawaii on a Western Undergraduate scholarship. She also earned a Most Valuable Student scholarship from the Lancaster Elks Lodge.

Her love for cheerleading inspired her idea for her Gold Award service project, ``Let's Cheer.'' She organized an April 10 cheerleading workshop aimed at children ages 8 to 12 that emphasized nutrition, teamwork and fitness. She taught them jumps, motion and cheer, and a dance.

Danielle Pedersen, a Lancaster High School graduate, played in the Lancaster High band drum line for four years and was a Junior ROTC cadet. She earned the Director of Service Award, the Daughters of the American Revolution Award and the Reserve Officer Association Award.

She plans to join the Air Force and will be given extra ranks due to her involvement in Junior ROTC and earning the Gold Award.

Danielle's Gold Award project was to make 16 lap blankets to be distributed to veterans. Each blanket bore the insignia of a military service.

Danielle's grandmother, Deborah Ridgway, and members of the Southern California Mothers of Twins Club helped her to complete the project. She recently presented the blankets to the the Lancaster Elks Lodge for distribution.

Virginia Pedersen, also a recent Lancaster High graduate, participated in the color guard for three years, serving as captain for two. Her Gold Award project, which she dubbed ``The Time of Your Life,'' had her meeting with freshmen and sophomore girls two days a week from February through April to teach them color guard techniques, emphasizing self-confidence, teamwork, and the importance of enjoyment over high scores.

Simi, a recent Quartz Hill High graduate, played four years on the school tennis team. She also spent four years in the Future Business Leaders of America, serving as president for three years and was on the school newspaper staff for three years.

Simi also has been volunteering at the Grace Resource Center charity food bank in Lancaster for three years, and has been a member of its core group for two years.

Simi will attend California State University, Long Beach, where she has earned a President's Scholarship.
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Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Aug 2, 2004
Words:607
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