Julie Scherer is a Girl Scout Gold Award recipient.
Father O'Keeffe leads volunteers in an opening prayer.
Parishioner Julie Scherer, 17, has earned the highest achievement from the Girl Scouts of the United States - the Gold Award. As a 12 year member of Girl Scouts, Scherer enjoys taking part at church and practicing her faith. When it came time to determine a service project, a prerequisite for achieving the honor, she chose the outdoor stations of the cross located at St. Alphonsus Liguori.
"I have always felt a strong tie to my church and faith so I wanted my project to focus on both. I started looking around the campus for things to be done and I found myself continuously coming back to the then bare stations," said Scherer.
On Saturday, June 11, Scherer and her volunteers completed an exclusive landscape design for the area surrounding the stations. Scherer originally proposed the project concept to Father O'Keeffe consulting with both him and her aunt, a landscape designer. In the planning stage, she identified four key areas the project would achieve:
- To create privacy for prayer
- Keep the area accessible for the grounds crew to work
- Use plants that can be easily maintained
- Educate others about the stations of the cross, a prayer deeply rooted in the Catholic Church.
The new landscaping creates a natural barrier between the stations and Sheers road. The hedges offer a similar barrier along the drive leading into the church parking lot. Both layouts present a private and enjoyable atmosphere. The additions will also include two memorial benches for individuals to rest upon as well as an information post with prayer guides. By the completion of her work, Scherer will have dedicated a total of more than 50 hours of service for this gift to the parish.
The Girl Scout Gold Award is an honor recognized across the globe. A scout must be of a high school age to begin the award process that she must fully document and present upon completion. A woman who has earned a Gold Award is also eligible to rise up one rank in the U.S. military.
"The biggest thing I have received from this experience is the ability to lead an entire project and still manage to stay organized. I know that later in life these skills will be important for dealing with co-workers and leading teams," said Scherer.
Scherer is a recent graduate of Zionsville High School and is planning to major in Biology at Purdue University in Lafayette, Ind. She received a scholarship for her commitment to Girl Scouts and earning the Gold Award along with other scholastic accomplishments.
Learn more about the Gold Award at GirlScouts.org
View a Stations of the Cross prayer guide from USCCB.org
Special thanks to Julie and those who contributed to her project including St. Alphonsus' WINGS minsitry group. The WINGS ministry helped maintain and refurbish the stations' plaques and stands in 2007 following construction on the church when the stations were relocated to near the Regilious Ed building.