By Tim Leeds
Tina Seely, daughter of Larry and Fransetta Seely, received the Girl Scout Gold Award Sunday.
Seely said she has enjoyed her time with the Girl Scouts, especially the work she did to receive her award.
Seely, who graduates from Havre High School this month, made 30 blankets to donate to the Whitehall Children's Cancer Center for her project. To receive the award, Girl Scouts' highest honor and the equivalent of the Boy Scouts' Eagle Award, members of the organization have to work on a special project requiring at least 50 hours of work.
The blankets ended up in a hospital in Butte, where they were placed on examination tables and sent home with the children after examinations.
Seely said she plans to remain associated with the Girl Scouts, probably for the rest of her life. She said she will begin helping Lisa Loftus work with her troop. Seely was awarded a lifetime membership in the organization Sunday.
At the award, Sara Loftus, Shawnee Loftus, Darlene Woods and Jennifer Shakal, who are current members of the various levels of the Girl Scouts, lit candles symbolizing Seely's 12 years with the Scouts. Loftus lit the final candle, the Leadership Candle.
Lillian Hammond and Lana Barta, former troop leaders of Seely, shared memories of her time in their troops, and troop leaders Sharyl Shakal and Debi Freier pinned the award on her. Freier officiated the ceremony.
Eileen Croxford, the field specialist for the area from the executive council for the western part of the state, described some of the badges, tags and medals covering Seely's tunic, and talked about how much work and dedication it took to receive them, leading up to the Gold Award.
She said she likes to reflect on the learning in the awards, rather than the earning. She said the focus in the Girl Scouts is on working together, planning and organizing, rather than awards received.
Freier said the Gold Award is an impressive item to list on a resume, increasing chances for college acceptance, scholarships and applications for job acceptance. She said it also gives a higher starting rank if the award winner enters into the U.S. military.