Submitted by: Giovanna Olcese

Category: Film / Documentary

On Memorial Day 2020, the Norwalk Girl Scout Troop 50671, all students at Marvin Elementary School in Norwalk, Conn., invited their community to join in the initiative of The American Legion to light #candlesofhonor to honor the heroes who died while serving in the United States Armed Forces. Norwalk is the home of American Legion Post 12.

Via this link, you will find our tribute video:

In addition to lighting the candles, the Girl Scouts also encouraged children to decorate their porch or windows with their own artwork, crafts, flowers, photos and of course our beautiful American flag. The girls encouraged families to remember the relatives who have served and have a conversation of what it means to leave family behind and fight in the name of your country and your loved ones, Additionally, they encouraged them to comprehend the feeling of never seeing them again, a topic relevant now that healthcare and essential workers are putting their lives at risks to keep us safe during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Girl Scout Troop 50671 from Norwalk is one of the newest troops in the state of Connecticut. Troop leaders Giovanna Olcese and Daisy Franklin joined forces in September 2019 with the shared ideas and a vision of creating an environment of meaningful experiences for the troop where the girls could learn new skills, become leaders and participate in exciting activities. Gio and Daisy value community participation and support so they always encourage the girls to help, while having fun and using their creativity so the girls can discover how they can create change.

In these times where the girls are home and the troop cannot meet as usual, and with smartphones and tablets as the preferred toy, troop leader Giovanna decided to teach the girls how to create social media content, but for a good cause. Previous videos about staying home, hand washing and eating healthy while in quarantine have been an opportunity for the girls to be creative, improvise and create informative and quality content that has been applauded enthusiastically by community members and officials.

About the author:

Giovanna Olcese is a co- troop leader for Troop 50671. Gio is a single mother of twins who works in New York City as an executive assistant/property manager. Her daughter Malena is a Girl Scout at the troop. Gio has already volunteered at the school as a teaching parent in the "Learning to Look program for the Arts" in 2017 and helped the PTA with graphic design efforts, book fair sales and English-Spanish translations. Gio is a professional synchronized swimmer and has coached school-age girls in swim meets and competitions. In her years developing as a professional actor, Gio worked with and directed children successfully in theater and commercial work while maintaining a fun and safe environment. "Our community is our family. And just like family, maybe it is not perfect all the time, but we still love it. They have our backs when needed, so we will be there as well when it is our turn to give back."