The words “Girl Scouts” usually makes people think of cookies; however, most 11th and 12th grade Girl Scouts are actually working toward their Gold Award.
The Gold Award is the highest achievement for a Girl Scout. Many scouts drop out before they can achieve this aspiration, but the ones who remain a scout to the end can have the chance to get it. The award looks good on college applications but is very difficult to achieve and requires a lot of work.
The Girl Scout Gold Award requires a minimum of 65 hours spent solving a problem in the girl’s community. The scout must identify a problem and figure out a way to solve it while building support in her community.
Girl Scouts must incorporate leadership into their project and find a way to benefit the community in addition to the 65 hours.
April Grossi, a senior working on her Gold Award, decided to deal with the issue of stress on students. “I am using Mandalas, an art project commonly used in Art Therapy that is proven to help students relax. I am leading three workshops on mandalas (one at the elementary, middle and high school) where I teach students how to create a mandala and teach them how they can use mandalas to combat stress in their own lives. At the end of each workshop the students created a group mandala (to symbolize support and unity within the group) that will hang in the community to teach others and advocate awareness.”
The award also pushes some scouts to do things that they would like to do anyway. “It’s shown me that I can make a difference in a problem,” said Grossi.
Similarly, the Scouts must also find a project that will be fun and interesting for them to complete. For my Gold Award I taught a writing workshop for all of the fourth grade classes at Leesville Elementary and created a DVD of the presentation to send to a poor school in Alabama. This project not only interested me, but it also helped me realize my dream of becoming a teacher.
When a Girl Scout completes the award, she receives it at a special ceremony. The ceremony can either be held by the girl’s troop or the Girl Scout Council in her area, the decision is up to the scout’s preference. In addition to the ceremony, the scout gets her picture in the paper and a short description about what she did to earn the award.
Many juniors and seniors are currently working toward the prestigious Gold Award. Once they reach college, the award is no longer available to earn. Through this process scouts will be able to learn more about the community and how to better it.