Girl Scout earns Silver Award with free neighborhood libraries

West Milford. A love for reading helped a local Girl Scout earn her Silver Award.

24 Nov 2019 | 02:32

Olivia Schmelz, of Cadette/Senior Troop 94899 of West Milford, recently earned her Silver Award, the highest award that a Cadette Girl Scout can achieve, and the second highest award in Girl Scouting, including her project of building free lending libraries in several neighborhoods.

For the 2017-18 program year, only 10.5% of Girl Scouts earned the Silver Award, according to the organization.

In order to earn this award, Olivia had to first complete a Cadette Journey, and chose the Breathe Journey.

Then, she needed to take the lead in developing a take action (silver award) project in her community based on an issue that she cared about and following the steps in the Silver Award Guidelines.

One of those requirements states that she had to spend a minimum of 40 hours on her project.

Realizing that West Milford covers a large area, and that children in the town may live up to 20-30 minutes away without any safe way visit the library, Olivia decided to build free lending libraries in some of the neighborhoods.

Olivia is an avid reader and thought lending libraries would be wonderful opportunity for neighborhood families to spend time together.

She researched many different designs before deciding to come up with the design with her dad.

The cases were built out of pine, and the bases are reclaimed wood that was donated.

She then gathered donated books to fill the libraries.

The lending libraries are located on the corners of Continental and Orleans, Lancaster and Olde Milford Lane, and on Navajo Trail.

Olivia will be receiving her Silver Award recognition from the Girl Scouts of Northern New Jersey Council later in May 2020 at the Silver and Gold Award Celebration.