Monday, November 19, 2018

Weekly Girl Scout Gold Award Spotlight

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

Lea, Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois

Lea published and illustrated a book called A,B,C of Things Kids Would Want to Know About Dogsto help kids learn about the responsibilities that come with being a dog owner. The idea for her Gold Award project was inspired by her work at an animal shelter, for which she earned her Silver Award. Shocked by the number of abandoned pets, to earn Girl Scouts’ highest award Lea struck out to educate kids in her community on the importance of a healthy, long-term pet/owner relationship. To raise awareness about her project, she presented her book and held discussions at local libraries in her community. Lea says that because of her Gold Award project she grew more interested in public speaking “to address social issues, promote positive ideas, and bring the community together on a greater cause, such as animal rights and education.” Now that’s what being a Girl Scout is all about!

Learn more about Lea’s project.

Emily Anne, Girl Scouts of North-Central Alabama

While attending band practice, Emily Anne saw a need for a new band tower. (Every time a director walked up the 20-year-old tower, members of the band would cringe with fear.) So what did this Girl Scout do? She channeled her innovator skills to sketch and design a new 16-foot-tall tower for her Girl Scout Gold Award project! Emily Anne’s uncle, an architect, helped her develop a blueprint that met the city’s requirements. The tower features a chalkboard for band directors, shelves for storage, and benches for students taking breaks; it also provides a multilevel bird’s-eye view to help band directors see performances the way spectators do. To raise $3,000 to support her project, Emily Anne stepped out of her comfort zone to ask complete strangers for donations. (Those cookie boss skills came in handy!) To begin assembly, she gathered community volunteers and school staff members to help dismantle the old tower as well as help with the new construction. Due to the size of the structure, a construction crew and the school district’s maintenance department supervised to ensure the tower was built to code.

Learn more about Emily Anne’s project.

Paige, Girl Scouts of California's Central Coast

For her Gold Award project, Paige raised her voice against bullying. After noticing that some of her closest friends had experienced bullying firsthand, she saw the importance of sharing their experiences to help others identify and combat it as soon as it happens. In true Girl Scout fashion, she produced and presented a series of informative anti-bullying videos at local middle schools and the library. Additionally, she created a website and used various social platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube, to further raise awareness about this important issue. Paige’s videos promote optimism and rally people to make friends rather than cut others down, which is consistent with the mission of the Young Social Activists Club she organized at her school—to encourage students to practice empathy and help others.

Learn more about Paige’s project.
Shannon, Girl Scouts Heart of New Jersey

With her Gold Award project, Shannon challenged the gender stereotypes girls face in STEM. After hearing that a local camp was short a few lunch tables, she took out her power tools and got to work. To accommodate lunch breaks and other camp-related activities for the 300 kids that attend Lifecamp in Pottersville, New Jersey, she designed and built five picnic tables with benches attached. And to make it sustainable, this aspiring engineer created a “How to Build a Picnic Table” YouTube tutorial that demonstrates the building process for anyone looking to follow her steps. With 188.5 hours under her (tool) belt, she also managed to join the Lifecamp team as a volunteer.

Learn more about Shannon’s project.

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.