Category Archives: Teens

Gold Award & Ambassador Bridging Ceremony

20160319-GS-Gold Awards

At St. Edward’s this afternoon, above are the 17 MHS seniors in Girl Scouts, who as Ambassador Scouts bridged over to Adult Scouts.  7 of them also got Gold Awards.

Below are some of the Mom’s of the Gold Award scouts who made it all possible.

20160319GS-Gold Award-Moms

Katherine Steeger and Linda Frawley have been leading a remarkably strong resurgence of Girl Scouting in town for many years,  and both of their daughters were among those being honored.

Gold Award projects were impressive, covering poverty, poetry, bats, bridges, tutoring, and volunteerism.  See the longer descriptions I posted before.

7 GS Gold Awards 3/19

March 4, 2016 Osler Peterson Medfield Town Selectman Medfield Town Hall 459 Main Street Medfield. MA 02052 Dear Selectman Peterson, GIRL SCOUTS It's that time of year again in Medfield! We are honoring an incredible number of Girl Scout Gold Award Recipients - seven! With over 40% of our 12th Grade Scouts being Gold Award Recipients, Medfield Girl Scouts ranks well above the national average of 5% - a very special distinction. In addition to recognizing these remarkable Scouts, seventeen of our 12th Grade Ambassador Scouts will be concluding their thirteen years of Girl Scouting and bridging to Adult Girl Scouts. Of additional note is that 9 of our 17 Ambassador Scouts have also earned various Girl Scout National Leadership Awards. Finally, we are very pleased to be celebrating 100 years of Girl Scouting in Medfield. We arc one of the oldest Service Units in the country. Enclosed is a detailed description of each Scout's Gold Award project for your perusal. These seven Girl Scouts join an elite group of young women who are respected throughout the world for their dedication, leadership, and concern for their community. As you can see, we have a lot to commemorate and we hope you can join us Saturday. March 19th at 1:00 PM with a reception directly following the ceremony. This year the ceremony will be held at St. Edward Church at 133 Spring Street in Medfield. We invite you to arrive by 12:30 to be a part of our opening ceremony and walk in with the other dignitaries. I will call your office in the next few days to see if it is possible for you to attend this very special event. Thanking you in advance for your attention to this matter, I remain with kind regards, Sincerely, Medfield Girl Scouts Gold Award Ceremony Committee Chair kcsteeger.a - 617-640-3277 - (c) MAR 1 4 2H6 About the Medfield Girl Scouts 2016 Gold Award Projects The Girl Scout Gold Award is the most prestigious award available in Girl Scouting and is only earned by Girl Scouts who demonstrate an exceptional commitment to their communities and an outstanding dedication to achievement. In order to earn the Girl Scout Gold Award, Scouts must first complete a series of prerequisites that take anywhere from 18 months to two years to complete. These pre-requisites are designed to give the Girl Scouts experiences in goal setting, leadership, career exploration and community service. Once the prerequisites are completed, each girl submits a plan for her Girl Scout Gold Award project that will require a minimum of 85 hours to complete. Each project needs to combine the skills and passions of the candidate in unique ways so that once completed, her project will leave a lasting mark on the community. Katherine Lyons My project addressed the issue surrounding the lack of knowledge of how poverty affects kids living on Cape Cod. Before beginning my project, even I was unaware of the severe poverty that affects many people living on the Cape and my goal was to make as many people aware of the issue in my hometown and surrounding areas as possible. I hope the awareness raised through my project benefits not only those who are Jiving in poverty, hopefully through increased donations and support, but by raising awareness to the fact that not all poverty is right before our eyes. I was able to put together 30 new backpacks filled with brand new school supplies and a few hundred books with bookmarks made by the kids at the Medfield Afterschool Program that were delivered over the summer and in the fall to Chatham Elementary School. My project also involved organizing the Cradles to Crayons 'Give Back with an Outfit Pack' drive within Medfield Girl Scouts. We were able to create 27 complete packs, 5 partially filled packs, 2 bags of additional items and had a total impact of 37 kids. Emily Piersiak My project addressed the issue of the absence of safe crossing at the end of Baker Pond in Medfield, and the Jack of encouragement for young women in the STEM fields. With the help of Girl Scout Troop 74900 and other members of the community, I constructed a bridge to span the runoff at Baker Pond. The project also included a class I taught at the Medfield Public Library, in which I was able to share my interest and knowledge in structural engineering and bridges. I am very pleased with the outcome of my project, especially the completed bridge and the information I imparted on all of the children who attended my classes. I would like to thank everyone who helped me complete this project, whether it was by donating materials or by physically helping to build it. I appreciate all of the help from my wonderful community, and I hope people enjoy all aspects of my project for years to come. Eliza beth Raine For Gold Award Project, Bats for a Cause, I addressed the decline of the local bat population due to human impact. I specifically designed this project not only to attempt to bolster the bat population for the purpose of offsetting human impact on the bats' local environment, but also to educate the public to the benefits of helping bats. I posted four bat boxes at the Trustees of Reservations as a refuge for migrating bats which would serve as nurseries for their newborn pups. My hope was that a growing bat population could help to regulate the recent overpopulation of mosquitoes, which may transmit harmful viruses to humans, like Triple E. Since the bats would stop the mosquitoes from transmitting those viruses, helping the bat population would ultimately benefit human healthcare. I also decided to educate the public about bats from around the world in order to dispel human fear of bats. I planned and executed presentations to various audiences in the community during Medfield Day, at MAP at Wheelock and Dale Street Schools, free time at Medfield's Council on Aging, and at Stony Brook's Earth Day Celebration. -OverZoe Smith Volunteering is something I value. It is a big pa rt of my life. For tunately, I had a program like Girl Scouts to start me on an early path of volunteerism. However, not everyone has t his type of opportunity. My goal for my Gold Award was to share my passion for volunteering in order to better my community. With this goal in mind, I chose to work with middle school students in my town to offer them diffe re nt opportunities to give back to the community in hopes of insti lling in them a passion to volunteer. I acted as a lia ison, connecting students with local volunteer organizations. Strong relations hips formed quickly. Many students are now volunteering regularly. Last ly, in order to receive their deserved recognition, students will have the chance to earn a President's Volunteer Service Award (PVSA). The PVSA recognizes citizens for bettering the coun try by volunteering. By working with middle school students, I was able to establish a genuine passion for volunteering which they can continue to pursue throughout their lives. Grace Sowyrda My Gold Award project addressed the issue of the lack of poetry programs and creative outlets in school, particularly in my town of Medfield. Poetry is a positive vehicle for connecting with others through raw emotion. It has universal themes that inspire others in the message that we are not alone in our feelings. I saw a need to provide this type of creative outlet. I addressed this issue by creating an after school poetry program at Blake Middle School to provide a safe and fun place for teens to connect and learn about poetry. I also created a poetry hour program at the library where I read poetry to the children a nd did a creative craft. To connect the town, I led an all age poetry reading at the Medfie ld Public Library and also led a poetry reading at the Senior Center. To support my efforts, I created a poetry website with easy ways for teachers to incorporate poetry into the ir curriculums. With each event, I was amazed to see poetry work its magic in connecting all the pa rticipants. Poetry is a very important part of my life and I am so lucky to have had the privilege to share its beauty and power with so many wonderful people . . Julia Steeger My project, "Co nn ecting Kids Who Have with Kids Who Need': addressed the issue of poverty a nd the many ways poverty affects children. It was the SOth anniversary of the "War on Poverty" launched by President Johnson that gave me the idea. Even with 50 years of effort, 15% of our state's chi ldren continue to live in poverty. I created my Gold Award project to educate kids in Medfield about how poverty affects kids who live in it and what we could do together as a community to help improve t heir circumstances. I wanted kids here in Medfield to know there was something they could do to help kids who live in poverty and that by passing along their gently used clothing, books and toys, they could help kids in need. With the help of the school administration, I was able to have a Cradles to Crayons collection unit placed at the Wheelock School. I also ran several assemblies at the schools to educate kids about the affects of poverty on kids who live in it, and established several town-wide collections: an annual "Stuff the Truck" event for clothing, books and toys as well as a food drive for Medfield Food Cupboard. Olivia Taylor Previously, there had been no prominent tutoring service in Medfield for children in grades K-5. My project was to create a tutoring program that connected high school students with e lementary school students. It is a imed to improve core academic skills, as well as create a bridge between older and younger children. I ran a six-week program at the three elementary schools in Medfield for students in grades K-5, with 15 tutors and 36 participants across the three programs. The objective was to supplement what the kids were learning in class in a way that didn't fee l like school, a nd to help the kids with a new perspective. I also created a website to share my project, with an online sign-up to connect high school a nd elementary school students for one-on-one tuto r ing. In the end, I hope my project provided a new service for the children and their parents, and a leadership opportunity for the high school students.

The Girl Scout celebrate 100 years of scouting in Medfield at its spring gold awards and bridging ceremony on 3/19.  The gold award recipients always have such interesting, thoughtful, and substantive projects.  It is also great to see so many girls having such a good and productive time together and with family.20160304-GSA-invitation_Page_120160304-GSA-invitation_Page_3

Teens at risk data

MetroWest Health Foundation2

The MetroWest Healthcare Foundation anonomously surveys 40,000+ teens every two years about a range of risky behaviors and provides the results to the participating school systems.  Last night about 50 parents and school administrators heard a two and a half hour presentation from Susan Cowell and a psychiatric RN at MHS about their analysis of the 2014 Medfield data, which showed:

  • high levels of stress
  • high levels of mental health issues (i.e. – depression, suicidal thoughts)
  • high levels of drinking – 45% of MHS seniors binge drinking (5+ drinks) in last 30 days
  • almost half the 10th graders had attended parties where alcohol and marijuana were available
  • bullying occurring, even at school

The full Medfield data is to be released on-line by the schools now that this presentation has taken place.  In the past, Medfield has unfortunately opted to not release the data, so kudos to the schools for this new openness.

The following is from the MetroWest Healthcare Foundation website about the data for the MetroWest area as a whole.


Adolescent Mental Health


Adolescent HealthAs any parent can attest, adolescence is a tumultuous time in a child’s life. The threats to the health of adolescents are not generally diseases or chronic conditions, but rather accidental injury from risky behaviors. It is also a time of high stress as youth confront the pressures of adolescence and seek to fit in.

Access to appropriate mental health services remains a major concern in the region. The 2014 MetroWest Adolescent Health Survey (MWAHS) found that 4.5 percent of MetroWest high school students reported attempting suicide and 22 percent reported experiencing depressive symptoms in the past 12 months.

We also know that teens today are suffering real and serious consequences because of bullying. Bullying and cyberbullying victims report more mental health problems than those who are not bullied, according to the 2012 MWAHS.

Adolescent health has long been a priority of the foundation. The foundation will continue to invest in adolescent health, placing a priority on mental health prevention, intervention and access to treatment.


  • Reduce the incidence of bullying and cyberbullying by supporting school policy change and community awareness and education efforts.
  • Decrease the percent of adolescents in grantee communities reporting self-injury, suicide attempts, thoughts of suicide and depressive symptoms by funding purchase of evidence-based universal mental health curricula and programs as well as school-based intervention strategies designed for at-risk students.


  • Lower Rates of Bullying
    In 2010 the foundation launched a three-year bullying prevention initiative in five middle school districts, investing approximately $60,000 per community. As a result of their work, these five communities showed decreases in bullying exceeding the MetroWest average from 2010 to 2012.
  • Stronger School Mental Health Programs
    The foundation funded four school districts to conduct a Mental Health Capacity Assessment, which enabled schools to identify and prioritize which services and schools in their districts require support or modifications. The foundation has also funded several school districts to offer programs that support students returning from psychiatric hospitalization, modeled on the Brookline Resilient Youth Team program.
  • Data on Adolescent Risky Behaviors
    The foundation continues to fund the MetroWest Adolescent Health Survey which includes data about mental health, bullying and other risky behaviors from every public middle and high schooler in the region.

View the Adolescent Health Outcomes Dashboard

Download PDF


Spelling bee

spelling bee

11th Annual Spelling Bee – Registration NOW OPEN

This much loved, low-key, low stress, FUN, spelling event will take place on April 5th at the MHS auditorium. This year’s theme is “Release Your Spelling Bee-st”. The online registration is now open (from March 1st – March 18th). The cost is $60 per team of three. Each registrant gets a cool Spelling “Bee-st” T-shirt. Concessions will be available for sale.


Click here for more information and Bee registration:



MMA on opiates


The Massachusetts Municipal Association recently released a white paper suggesting what towns should be doing about opiates.  It has a list of the 10 best practices, several of which we are already doing (e.g. – the drug return turn in box at the MPD, Narcan in cruisers, and MCAP), but we have not yet appointed a point person to lead our effort or dealt with some of the other recommendations.

The report notes that someone has died from opiates in almost 75% of our towns in Massachusetts.

A PDF of the MMA’s white paper can be downloaded here –

The MMA’s article (below) can be found here –


MMA releases report with opioid strategies for cities, towns

January 25, 2016

At its Annual Meeting on Jan. 22 and 23, the MMA released a 16-page report intended to help local officials take action on the escalating opioid abuse epidemic that has claimed thousands of lives in recent years and is affecting virtually every community in Massachusetts.

“Local officials have the ability to lead by providing prevention programs, encouraging public awareness, ensuring safe disposal sites for prescription drugs, and serving as a clearinghouse for valuable resources for treatment and support,” said Attleboro Mayor Kevin Dumas, co-chair of the MMA’s Municipal Opioid Addiction and Overdose Prevention Task Force.

Task force co-chair Michael McGlynn, who recently concluded 28 years as the mayor of Medford, said the 16-page report “will offer some direction and information to the public and our colleagues in government.”

“Municipal officials across the Commonwealth have the obligation to lead the fight against the devastating impact of substance use disorders,” McGlynn said.

The report, titled “An Obligation to Lead,” outlines 10 specific opportunities for local officials to lead the fight against the public health epidemic surrounding the abuse of prescription drugs and opioids. Local officials are urged to lead an effort to increase public awareness and to designate a point person in city and town halls focused on the epidemic and available resources.

The report recommends the facilitation of broad-scale collaboration across departments, the development of a one-page resource guide for families and those seeking treatment or assistance, and a partnership with schools to develop a prevention curriculum.

Local officials are urged to provide naloxone (Narcan) to first responders and designate safe prescription drug disposal sites in their communities.

The opioid abuse epidemic claimed an estimated 1,200 lives in 2014 – complete data are not yet available for 2015 – and accounts for more than half of all deaths among 25- to 44-year-olds. In 2014, the epidemic caused more deaths than car accidents and gun violence combined in Massachusetts.

The MMA’s report represents the findings of the MMA’s 11-member task force, which held many meetings over an 18-month period with policy makers, experts, advocacy organizations, and partners.

The task force concluded that local officials are best positioned to manage the opioid crisis, but the group also developed a series of policy recommendations for state leaders in order to assist cities and towns in their efforts to manage this growing epidemic.

The task force called for the state to create a centralized database of all treatment services, to work to make more treatment beds available, to develop and fund a model prevention curriculum, and to better enforce the Prescription Monitoring Program.

Download “An Obligation to Lead” (365K PDF)

By Katie McCue and John Ouellette


Stress & mental health big student issues

MHS sigh

This article is from the Medfield Press.

At the Medfield Cares About Prevention (MCAP) meeting this morning, that focused on the high levels of student stress and mental health issues noted in the MetroWest Adolescent Health Survey, Jeff Marsden, the Superintendent, said that the full survey will be released after the March 9 presentation on the data to parents.  Seeing in the data the high numbers of our kids that are contemplating suicide requires us, as a town, to respond.


  • Posted Feb. 29, 2016 at 2:22 PM


    Medfield often receives praise for its small-town community atmosphere and strong school system, but similar to other towns in the region, more Medfield adolescents are experiencing stress, feelings of sadness, and suicidal thoughts, according to the most recent MetroWest Adolescent Health Survey administered in 2014.

    In addition to stress-related data, parents and community members at large will have a chance to learn what other important information the survey revealed about Medfield students at a special presentation at 6:30 p.m., Wednesday, March 9 in the Medfield High School auditorium.

    Speakers will be Susan Cowell, head of the Wellness Department for Medfield Public Schools, and Christi Barney, RN, MSN, a mental health expert from Brigham and Women’s Faulkner Hospital, who will talk about the unique signs of adolescent stress and share strategies parents can use to help their children.

    “On the positive side, the survey showed a decline in cigarette and marijuana use, however, the uptick in areas related to mental health are very concerning,” said Cowell, who has overseen student participation in the biennial survey since it was first administered in 2006.

    Other areas of concern based on survey findings include:

  • Bullying/cyberbullying
  • Distracted driving
  • Sleep deprivation
  • High-risk alcohol use
  • Unhealthy weight loss and body image
  • Use of e-cigarettes (“vaping”)

“Medfield is not alone in trying to address student stress and related mental health issues – it’s a problem affecting youth across the MetroWest region and beyond,” said Cowell. “We also know mental health issues are on the rise in college-aged adults too.”

Medfield Superintendent of Schools Jeff Marsden said, “It is critical that all of us – the school community and greater Medfield community – become more aware of the issues impacting the health of our youth and identify ways we can work together to support them. Our presentation on March 9 will be an important step in the right direction.”

The MetroWest Adolescent Health Survey, developed by the MetroWest Health Foundation, is part of a long-term initiative to monitor trends in health and risk behaviors. Based on 2014 responses, more than 40,000 students in grades 6 through 12 from 25 towns took the anonymous survey.

According to Cowell, with a few exceptions, Medfield’s local data reflects the regional data. Regional data on all health topics surveyed among high school students can be found at

Angel Run registration closes Halloween

Angel Run

Dear Friends of the MFi Angel Run,

The frost isn’t on the pumpkin yet but the wings are on the angel!

Time is flying so register now for early bird pricing and the famous Angel Run t-shirt for the 2015 MFi Angel Run.

Regstration is exclusively online at through Oct. 31st. After that date, you can only register on race day and t-shirts will not be available. Don’t miss out! Do your first good deed of the coming holiday season by signing up today. Proceeds from the MFi Angel Run stay right here in our community to help Medfield residents in need.


Angel Run keepsake

In honor of the 10th anniversary of the Angel Run you can purchase during registration a special Angel Run keepsake.
“Give Where You Live” and sign up at

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter @MedfieldFndn for updates on the run/walk, training tips and more opportunities to be involved in this great community event. This year features bib chip timing and as always, all paces, including strollers and leashed dogs are welcome.

Join us on Sunday, December 6th at 2pm with bells on!

With appreciation,

Your MFi Angel Run Team