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September 25, 2013

Troy High School senior goes for scouting gold

By Terry Oparka
C & G Staff Writer

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Troy High School senior goes for scouting gold
The Turkish American Society of Michigan, Detroit, displays cultural artifacts for the Culture Fair at the Troy Public Library Sept. 22 organized by Katie Forche for her Girl Scout Gold Award project, the highest honor a Girl Scout can earn.

Troy High senior Katie Forche learned a lot from watching her older sister, Rachel, work for hours toward her Girl Scout Gold Award. Rachel Forche chose to highlight physical fitness for children and designed the GO FIT program at Monfort Elementary School in Shelby Township with the help of a family friend, Colleen Mott, a fitness instructor, and former Troy police captain.

Katie said she learned from her older sister that she needed to do a lot of planning, be very organized and get help from others.

The Gold Award is the culmination of several years of pre-requisite badges, projects, planning and networking in the community, followed by a minimum of 80 hours of community service in a project of the Scout’s design. The award is the equivalent to the Boy Scout Eagle Scout Award, and it’s the highest honor a Girl Scout can earn.

Katie said she wanted to showcase the diversity in Troy for her project, the Culture Fair, held at the library Sept. 22. Not including working onsite at the Culture Fair, Katie said she’d spent more than 100 hours on the project.

“The library is loved by many around Troy, and a wide range of people visit there, so I thought that the Troy Public Library would be the perfect place for this event,” she said via email. “Troy residents seem quite familiar with the wide range of diversity in the city; however, I wanted to bring many of the different cultures together to help them learn about each other.”

She explained that the event featured free food from different ethnic restaurants throughout Troy; dancers from the Irish, Mexican, Korean and Indian cultures; saxophone musicians from Troy High School; and a table where children could color and get a face/hand painting done.

Katie said the Friends of the Troy Public Library helped to sponsor the event and purchased supplies such as tablecloths, tri-fold boards, napkins, plates and forks.

She also asked local restaurants to donate food.

“They all seemed happy to contribute, since it benefits the Troy community,” Katie said.

The restaurants included Achatz Handmade Pie Co. for the American table, Cedar Grille for Mediterranean cuisine, Chipotle Mexican Grill, K Thai Express, Kalamata Greek Grill, Kim’s Restaurant for Chinese fare, Loccino Italian Grill  & Bar and Lukich’s Family Dining for Polish food. The Turkish American Society of Michigan, Detroit, donated food for the event.

Jennifer Forche, Katie’s mother and troop leader of Ambassador Girl Scout Troop 42790, said that Katie recruited troop members, friends and members of the Troy library Teen Advisory Board for a total of 24 volunteers to help with the event.

The Troy Recreation Department donated and set up the stage where the JM 3 Saxophone Quartet from Troy High School, dancers from the Taal School of Dance & Indian Arts, Shannon Irish Dance Company/Academy, Anusri Yanumula and Las Joyas De Mexico entertained the approximately 250 people who attended. Troy High School students also performed a Korean pop dance.

“She worked so hard to pull this whole thing together,” Jennifer Forche said. “I watched her move into this position of leadership so beautifully,” she said. 

Jennifer Forche added that a highly suggested component of the Gold Award is that it be a project that could be continued over the years.

“I am really glad that the response to the Culture Fair was so positive,” Katie said.  “A number of people came up to me and said that they hope I make this an annual event.”

You can reach C & G Staff Writer Terry Oparka at toparka@candgnews.com or at (586)498-1054.