The Baptismal Covenant of the Episcopal Church asks individuals to pledge to seek and serve Christ in all persons, loving our neighbors as ourselves. “Caroline Holt Larson has made such service her life’s work through the Girl Scouts, the church, and her career as an occupational therapist serving children with mobility impairments. She is a living witness to Jesus’ instruction that we care for the children in our midst,” noted John C. Mitchell in nominating her for the St. George Episcopal Award.
“We are privileged by her presence in our congregation and our community, and we hold her in high esteem. I recommend her for this award without reservation or hesitation,” Mitchell continued.
St. Paul’s Rector Rev. Christopher Wendell and Mitchell conferred the St. George Episcopal award during the church’s Scouting Sunday service on February 2, 2020.
“Caroline’s devotion to the Girl Scouts spans three generations, beginning in her youth as a Girl Scout herself, then as an adult leader for her daughter and peers—now grown with children of their own—and continuing today as a mentor to new Girl Scout leaders forming troops in our community,” Mitchell wrote. “When Bedford parents think about Girl Scouts for their children, inevitably they encounter Caroline. Girl Scouts has thrived in Bedford due to her persistent work and support, and it is no hyperbole to say that hundreds of girls and women owe her their thanks for ensuring that the program remains vibrant, healthy, and self-perpetuating.
Troop Leader Sue Turner Praised Larson’s Service
“I had the pleasure of meeting Caroline Larson at Bedford Day at the Girl Scout booth in 2010. I was interested in having my daughter join Scouts. There wasn’t a troop available, so Caroline encouraged me to start a troop. I was flabbergasted; I was never a Scout, never worked with youth, had no idea of what to do. Caroline was an excellent mentor and teacher. She taught me the values of Girl Scouts, helped me organize family volunteers, and most importantly taught me how to engage girls in community service and leadership, something she had been doing for new troops for many years,” noted Turner.
“Now, my daughter is in 9th grade, and my fledgling troop of 6 kindergartners is 15 strong and growing and working to take action in their community. I attribute much of that success to Caroline’s teaching in how to make the group “girl-led” even when they were 5 and 6 years old. . . . I cannot say enough about her impact on the community in Bedford in her service to St. Paul’s and to the larger Girl Scout community. Caroline remains a dear friend and mentor who I know I can approach for wisdom and guidance.”
Service to St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Bedford
“Beyond her work with the Girl Scouts, Caroline is also a dedicated servant of God at St. Paul’s, involving or serving young people in many ways. She leads our parish knitting ministry, which delivers handmade blankets to pediatric patients at area hospitals through Project Linus and makes handmade hats for newborn members of our congregation. She also leads our acolyte ministry and has trained scores of young people and adults as altar servers. She has shown patience and care in teaching children as young as eight to serve at God’s table and to carry God’s light in the gospel procession,” Mitchell noted.
“Caroline’s greatest contribution to St. Paul’s, however, is as the longtime chair of our Outreach Committee, a parish group delegated by our Vestry with prioritizing and funding service missions in our community, the nation, and the world,” he continued. “Working with the committee, she has been the catalyst in forming a multi-year healthcare mission to serve God’s people in Haiti. Through her efforts, St. Paul’s has sent teams of doctors and nurses to Haiti for the past seven years, to provide hands-on clinical care to the people of Leogane, a community at the epicenter of the 2010 earthquake and still recovering from it. She has also worked to develop an enduring healthcare infrastructure in Haiti by building a partnership with the Faculté des Sciences Infirmières de l’Université Episcopale d’Haïti (FSIL) nursing school. ”