Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Focus on the Girl Scout Gold Award

In Minnesota, The Osakis Review reports that Girl Scouts Bria Nienaber and Brooke Waldorf are working their way to earning the Girl Scout Gold Award. To earn the Gold Award the girls have to complete a project that fulfills a need in their community, creates change and has potential for lasting impact. For their project, Nienaber and Waldorf intend to have a skatepark built in Osakis.

“It will be a place for skaters to hang out instead of skating on private property,” Nienaber explained. “It will be a teen hang out spot, a place to go and talk with your friends,” Waldorf added. “Skaters get a bad reputation because of the places they skate, so this will give them somewhere cool to go.”

The girls said they’ve heard comments from kids their age, and parents, that it would be nice to have somewhere to go that’s close to home. Plans are preliminary, but the girls expect the skatepark to be about 100-by-60 feet. The skatepark will feature several fixtures for doing tricks – like rails, ramps, a pyramid and a bowl (it’s like a big, empty swimming pool sunk into the park). Parks like this are generally used by skateboarders, but this park will also be designed to be functional for rollerbladers and BMX bike riders. Sounds awesome!

Also in Minnesota, The Country Messenger reports that Laura Epland, a sophomore at North High, and Sammy Nielsen, a sophomore at Roseville High School, worked together to construct a garden at the Immigrant Hus at Gammelgarden in Scandia, Minn. Sammy and Laura have been friends since they were 3 years old. After achieving their Bronze and Silver Awards, they have now earned the highest achievement in Girl Scouting, the Gold Award. The garden consisted of perennials and annuals that were typical during the 1800’s. They included the garden as part of the ongoing children’s program “Coming to Amerika” over the past several summers. The plants were donated by Abrahamson’s Nurseries. Sammy and Laura have volunteered at Gammelgarden over the last several years. They put in 155 plus volunteer hours each as a part of their award. Laura and Sammy maintain the garden with the children as well as educating the public on Scandinavian immigrant life.

In Texas, Ultimate Clear Lake reports that Girl Scout Ambassador Emily Rose recently earned the Girl Scouts of San Jacinto Council Gold Award. To earn the award, Rose created a soccer training manual for a 10-year-old girls soccer team. Her training manual contained soccer drills she developed through her own research and experience. She and her volunteers attended the team's practices, where they taught the drills during warm-ups and cool-downs. She also held biweekly meetings with the team's coaches to assess the girls' progress and goals. By the end of the five-month training season, the team had progressed to playoffs.

"I chose this project because I love soccer and wanted to help younger girls learn the importance of organized sports and better their soccer skills," said Rose, a senior at Clear Lake High School.

In New York, The Garden City Patch has an excellent run-down of four girls on their way to earning the Girl Scout Gold Award. From a project that aims to raise awareness around hunger issues to a project that focuses on increasing the pool of potential bone marrow donors, the article is definitely worth checking out.

Do you have any outstanding Girl Scout Gold Award stories to share?