Trenton native Elle Bukosky is looking to become the second girl from Girl Scout Troop No. 70637 to earn the Girl Scout Gold Award this year.
The Gold Award is the highest honor a Girl Scout can receive, and Bukosky will try to earn hers this Saturday as she hosts “Jibe Ho! Ready to Go! Let’s Have a Sailing Adventure!” The one-day sailing program—set to be held from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Ocean Gate Yacht Club in Ocean Gate—will empower autistic children through sailing.
Bukosky has partnered with Ensign Fleet 63, POAC Autism Services and the Ocean Gate Yacht Club to introduce children to the sport she loves and to make it more accessible to children who may not have another opportunity to go sailing. Participants will learn about different types of boats, make a nautical craft and take a ride on an Ensign boat sailed by an experienced skipper.
Children and their families will also participate in a scavenger hunt to help them discover Barnegat Bay.
Bukosky has been a member of Troop 70637 since she was a third grade Brownie, and she has been sailing on the bay since she was even younger. When she began to plan an event to earn her Gold Award, she decided to combine her to passions to help others.
“Sailing and Girl Scouts have had such a positive influence on me,” Bukosky said. “Both have given me confidence and leadership skills and a desire to share my knowledge with others. I hope that the families will have a fun day on the water and that this will start an ongoing partnership.”
Bukosky, a sailing instructor at the Lavallette Yacht Club, will use her sailing skills to construct and present a fun, safe and educational program. Members and instructors from other Barnegat Bay Yacht Racing Association clubs—including her home club, Seaside Park Yacht Club—will be volunteering at the event. Jersey Mike’s of Bayville is donating food, and photographer Laura Dec will be on hand to document the day.
The Gold Award is the highest achievement in Girl Scouting. The award is only given to girls who demonstrate leadership in their communities through “Take Action” projects that have sustainable, positive impacts on others.
Earlier this year, Ewing native Summer Kellers earned her gold award by hosting a conference for teenagers that highlighted the struggles of children living in poverty. Bukosky said only 5.4 percent of eligible Girl Scouts achieve their Gold Award, making it unusual for girls in the same troop to earn the honor.
Bukosky, a rising senior at Doane Academy in Burlington, will also represent Girl Scouts of Central and Southern New Jersey as a council delegate at G.I.R.L. 2017, the Girls Scouts National Convention.
For more information about the event, contact Bukosky at firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit the event Facebook page.