Julia Rose Giglio graduated from Urbana High School this month, is continuing with her National Cancer Institute Werner H. Kirsten student internship this summer and will head to the University of Maryland-College Park this fall to study business and finance with a minor in technical writing. All tremendous achievements, but Giglio’s heart belongs to scouting and it took her to the pinnacle of leadership in Venturing.
Giglio is one of less than 150 scouts nationwide to achieve the Summit Award, the highest award of Venturing and equivalent to Eagle Scout.
The Summit Award includes completing a service project to help a religious institution, school or community organization. Giglio drew on her long history with scouting for inspiration.
She was a Girl Scout until the age of 13, when her troop disbanded after the loss of beloved member Liz Coffey who passed away on Jan. 6, 2014 from congenital heart disease. “Girls were not allowed in Boy Scouts (then) … and I happened to be just turning 13, so I waited a year and then I started with the Venture Crew out of St. Ignatius Catholic Church when I turned 14, four years ago,” Giglio said.
Venturing, a 20-year-old program of the Boy Scouts, has always been coed and is designed for Scouts ages 14 to 21. The emphasis is on leadership, mentoring and adventure.
“I was really excited to do the high-adventure stuff more than anything else because in Venturing you can shoot high-power rifles and high-power pistols and you can do kayaking, rock climbing, ropes course, that kind of stuff,” she said, adding “… and we do a lot of mentoring with other troops.”
Giglio is a member of Venture Scouts 796 that works closely with Boy Scout Troop 796. “We try to help the troop out with leadership if we can,” she said.
She participated in Scouting for Food with Troop 796 every year and became involved with the Greater Urbana Food Bank. What she learned inspired her Summit Award project.
“The food bank is in Mrs. Ostby’s basement,” Giglio said. “She has eight ‘fridges. … All of the fruits, vegetables, eggs and cheese are hard to keep.”
Jo Ostby, whose food bank serves 228 families, needed a walk-in cooler. She had already approached six scouts about taking on the project, and six had turned her down.
Giglio didn’t walk way. At the time, she was vice president of programs for the National Capital Area Council Venturing Officers Association and president of Frederick County’s Venturing Officers Association. Other leadership experiences include captain of competition for the UHS Maryland Science Olympiad team and president of the National French Honor Society. She was up for the challenge.
She drew on everything that she had learned as a Girl Scout, Venture Scout and project management intern at the National Cancer Institute. With her father as consultant, Giglio created a budget, pricing materials at Lowe’s, factoring in inflation, taxes and food for her volunteer workers. Her estimate came to $3500.
The biggest part of the project was fundraising, Giglio recalled. She sent emails and letters to family, friends and local business, and she applied for grants. She also reached out to Store It Cold, the manufacturers of a nifty device called the CoolBot that enables an air conditioning unit to function more as a refrigerator when operating within an insulated shed.
Initially, she raised $1,000—not enough—and decided to approach the project in phases. With help from family, friends and scouts in Venture Crew 796 and Boy Scout Troop 796, Giglio laid the 100-foot-square concrete foundation before winter hit and raised another $750 to put up the walls and then the roof next. Store It Cold Vice President John Bergher replied to her letter, saying that the company would like to donate its CoolBot. And community groups including the Knights of Columbus, American Legion and other Boy Scout troops donated funds.
That’s when the $2,000 Wawa Foundation grant came through, and Giglio knew that she could complete the project. Her best friend’s father, a licensed electrician, donated his time and talents. Insulation was put in, linoleum flooring was laid, and a door went in. Giglio installed the CoolBot herself.
With the walk-in cooler, Giglio was able to give the Greater Urbana Food Bank a check for $1,000 and an operating guide that she had written herself. The project was completed right before Christmas 2017.
“In the beginning, it served as valuable extra storage for food, shelving and storage bins,” Ostby said. “The intention is to use the walk-in cooler when we get large loads of items needing refrigeration in warmer months. It has been needed many times in previous years. It will ensure food safety for our 228 families. It is technology that we will utilize time and time again for years to come. We do have eight refrigerators and freezers in the house, but for large loads at one time the Cool Bot will be so important to preserving community donations.”