Monday, April 23, 2018

Weekly Girl Scout Gold Award Spotlight

Check out this week’s sampling of go-getting, innovating, risk-taking Gold Award Girl Scouts—young women who know what it means to lead with true G.I.R.L. spirit!

Heather, Girl Scouts of the Commonwealth of Virginia

For the past four years, Girl Scout Heather has volunteered at three different therapeutic horseback riding centers, helping enhance the quality of life for physically, mentally, and emotionally challenged riders. Hardly a surprise, then, that for her Girl Scout Gold Award project, R.I.D.E. (Riding for Independence and a Dynamic Experience), Heather created a sensory trail to augment the therapy sessions offered at B&R Ranch in Fredericksburg, Virginia. The trail features a series of obstacles the riders traverse on horseback to engage their senses and improve balance and self-esteem. To see her project through, Heather put to use donations from local riders and their families as well as Lowe’s, Home Depot, Walmart, and Fastsigns. Her own family and Girl Scout Troop 3546 also helped this G.I.R.L. go Gold.

Learn more about Heather’s project.

Rebecca, Girl Scouts of Central Texas

Rebecca’s Girl Scout Gold Award project, Every One Counts, was developed to honor Holocaust victims. In memory of the roughly 6 million Jewish people who lost their lives in the Holocaust, with her project Rebecca aims to create a visual representation of these individuals, by collecting and displaying 6 million soda pull-tabs. She’s been collecting tabs for over a year, and with help across 13 states she has gathered 1 million so far. She’s looking to reach her goal by September, after which she hopes to get the results exhibited at a local museum. To raise awareness of her project nationally and globally, Rebecca has a dedicated Facebook page; she’s also hosting educational workshops for middle and high school students, as well as adults, on discrimination at large, addressing things like first impressions, stereotypes, and fair treatment.

Learn more about Rebecca’s project.

Sarah, Girl Scouts North Carolina Coastal Pines

After being a Girl Scout for 12 years, Sarah chose to focus her Gold Award project on women’s issues in India surrounding puberty and menstrual hygiene. Upon learning that one-quarter of girls in India drop out of school because they don’t have menstrual education or sanitation products, she decided to educate women and teens in East India’s Bihar. She has teamed up with the Healing Fields Foundation, a nonprofit committed to providing affordable healthcare to poor people in India, to provide a machine that not only makes sanitary products but also allows women to make a living selling products to neighboring villages at reasonable prices. So far Sarah has raised a few hundred dollars through bake sales and selling calendars to cover the cost of the machine.

Learn more about Sarah’s project.

Meg, Girl Scouts of Texas Oklahoma Plains

Meg’s Girl Scout Gold Award project was a weeklong theater camp for kids at a local homeless shelter. Inspired by her advisor’s charity called PS1, which works with kids, she helped the kids put on a play, including painting sets, making costume and props, and learning new leadership skills. The biggest lesson she learned along the way? The value of patience, which she says was especially helpful in leading kids to put on the production.

Gold Award Girl Scouts are recipients of one of the most prestigious awards in the world for girls. By the time they put the final touches on their seven-step projects, they’ll have addressed a significant problem in their community—not only in the short term, but with a plan to sustain the work for years into the future. They’re also eligible for college scholarships and to enter the military one rank higher than non–Gold Award Girl Scouts.

Got a Girl Scout Gold Award story to share? Send the details and relevant photos to for a chance to have it featured.