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Girl Scout, 16, organizes project for children with disabilities - abc27 WHTM

Girl Scout, 16, organizes project for children with disabilities to help others

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This project is just one stop on the way to earning Girl Scout's highest honor for 16-year-old Rebecca Cole.

"It makes me feel genuinely happy," Cole said. "I mean I'm genuinely proud to see that these kids are getting the opportunity to help someone else, even if it's a small task."

In choosing her Gold Award Project, the Bishop McDevitt High School junior followed her personal passion.

"I feel that every single person deserves a chance to be able to do something that not all the time they are able to do," Cole said.

For her project, Cole organizes work parties for adolescent children, in conjunction with Aaron's Acres, a Lancaster based summer camp that specializes in programs for those with developmental disabilities.

Today's task involved the makeover of a highly traveled walkway and the cleanup of bird feeders outside the nature center at Wildwood Park in Dauphin County. Other work party visits included the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank, Caitlin's Smiles and the American Red Cross.

Ashley Harned is a site supervisor for Aaron's Acres Camp and applauds Cole's project.

"She's very hands on. She's enthusiastic. She wants to help. She's dedicated. She'll do anything she needs to do to make the project."

Cole credits strong family support for her inspiration, but her mom and dad say they just followed her lead.

"It's amazing. She took off on this idea and just expanded on it," Tony Cole said. "We just made the contacts and helped her here and there, but it's her baby."

Although scouting has been a big part of her young life, Cole's other loves include swimming, singing, theater and music.

With all that - and her love for helping others - there's reason to cheer. 

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