NAPLES, Italy — In less than a year, Kim Bibeau watched three girls blossom into assertive, go-getting young women who could well be on their way to being three of tomorrow’s leaders, she said.

As co-leader of Girl Scout Senior Troop 3 in Naples, she watched the three teens transform from being girls who relied on adults to run their meetings to creative leaders who did a bang-up job of putting on a Children’s Winter Wonderland celebration that earned them the Gold Award, the Girl Scouts’ highest award.

“They took off and did everything on their own,” said Bibeau, mom of one of the teens. “They contacted the companies, contacted the base [commanding officer], raised the money and controlled the whole thing.”

In June, the three Scouts — Jaime Hurley, Kendal Hurley and Kaitlin Bibeau — who also happen to be the only members of Senior Troop 3, embarked on their project when they learned the Naples Morale, Welfare and Recreation had to cut back on projects, including their annual winter and Christmas holiday event.

They seized on the opportunity to not only provide the community with a “much-needed” event, but also a project that could earn them the Gold Award, said Kaitlin Bibeau, 15 and a sophomore at Naples High School.

The Winter Wonderland, which took place Dec. 11, provided children with a chance to visit Santa and Mrs. Claus, make holiday crafts and bake holiday cookies.

The Scouts tried to steer clear of a religious event, so all people would feel welcomed, said Kendal Hurley, also 15 and a sophomore. “We focused on the commercial aspect of the season instead of the religious,” she said.

All told, the teens each had to put in 40 leadership hours and 60 project hours, which included tasks such as raising cash to getting permission from the base commander to booking the elementary school gymnasium for the event, said Jaime Hurley, 17 and a senior at the high school.

“It was work, hard work,” Jaime said. But, added Kaitlin, “It was a perfect success.”

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