Ambassador Girl Scout provides a new teaching venue

| 05 Jul 2012 | 12:08

By Ginny Raue WEST MILFORD — Heidi Meramo is an 18-year-old Ambassador Girl Scout and she’s going for the gold. The Girl Scout Gold Award, that is. Her community project is basically completed and now she awaits the decision of the council.

Meramo is a Juliette Scout, meaning that she operates independently, with no troop affiliation. As an Ambassador Scout, she has reached the highest level attainable in Girl Scouts. She is at the finish line of her scouting years and attaining the Gold Award will be the perfect ending to her scouting story.

Meramo is a senior at West Milford High School and will continue her education next fall at the University of Rhode Island. She will be studying kinesiology, with an eye towards a career as a physical therapist.

To attain the Gold Award a young lady must complete a service project, one she identifies as a sustainable addition to her community. In this case, Meramo’s inspiration came from an environmental science teacher at the high school.

“I heard that Apshawa School was looking for an outdoor classroom,” she said. So Meramo aligned herself with the Daisy Troop at Apshawa School, an attachment necessary to work towards the award, and a new teaching space for Apshawa school children came into being.

Under the direction of her father, a construction worker, Meramo learned how to build a bench. She built six of them and placed then in a semi-circle on the grounds of the school.

“The young children can go outside on a school day now. They can run around a little bit, they can learn about nature. It’s a learning outlet for the teachers,” Meramo said.

While Meramo’s dad gave the building lessons, her mom would keep her company as she worked on her project. She is most grateful to the Kuiken Brothers building supply company in Warwick, N.Y., for their generous donation of the lumber needed for the benches.

The benches are now permanently affixed to the ground and Meramo’s required 80 hours of community service is complete. Now, she must make her final presentations before the Girl Scout Council of Northern New Jersey. Soon after, she will hear if she has made the grade.

Meramo may not be home to receive that phone call or letter since she will be leaving shortly after graduation to work as a sailing instructor at a Girl Scout camp on Cape Cod. Sounds like a good summer plan for a retiring Girl Scout.

Wishing Heidi Meramo smooth sailing ahead.