Girl Scout Gold Award Project: Beth Bolon, Longmont, “Speak above the shoes (empowering through communication)”

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

My workshop “Speak above the shoes” took place June 30-July 2 from 10 – 11:30 a.m. Eight girls attended the course: six 9th graders, one 8th grader, and an enthusiastic 6th grader. Six of the girls were Girl Scouts, who heard about it through their troop leaders, and two of them heard about it from the advertising I did with Coffee & Connections, the local cafes, and my flyers. The curriculum of my project was centered around the concept that there are more ways to communicate than the traditional verbal word-of-mouth.

How did you measure the impact your Gold Award project made on your target audience?

The workshop was successful, based on the survey results at the end of the three days, and the comfort and confidence levels of the girls in class while presenting. Each girl found a communication style that suited her; there were even two girls who used a style that was not in my curriculum (and did some modeling). The actual class was quite enjoyable, we all sat on the floor on big comfy pillows with paper, markers, pens, and other art supplies around us. The girls got to be in a close, intimate environment that was calm and let them talk to each other without the pressures of a regular classroom.

How is your project sustainable? How will your project continue to impact after your involvement?

“Speak above the shoes” will be sustained through the Front Range networking group, “Coffee & Connections,” as a two-year commitment to support and promote the website I have created for the project: I will also be working with them during these years to continue the energy of my project since they are already working on encouraging woman in business. I am also in communication with the Longmont Public Library on how to best link my website with their programs all along the Front Range to help educate more young woman.

What is your project’s global and/or national connection?

Much of the project was inspired from my own experiences moving from school-to-school and having to learn over and over the various forms of communication throughout the United States. During a Girl Scout service unit event, my troop was invited to an exclusive showing of the movie “Girl Rising,” which further solidified my desire to bring out women’s voices in whatever comfortable, non-threatening, inspiring ways that they can no matter their personal circumstances.

“Speak above the shoes” is already moving into the national and international arena through the generous support and marketing of Coffee & Connections since their membership is global.

My website will be available to many moms and their daughters as small business owners around the world participate in the online promotion of “Speak above the shoes” with Coffee & Connections partnering with me.

What did you learn about yourself?

I found I had a lot of anxiety as my workshop dates came closer and I found and implemented ways to calm myself down through breathing, which came in handy when one of the girls was nervous about sharing something she had made. So, we shared ways we had learned to deal with our own anxiety.

How will earning your Gold Award impact you in the future?

Knowing that I have created such a project and did it with a team makes me feel more confident in my own abilities for any future endeavor I take on. Teaching girls how to communicate and use their voices taught me more about myself and how far I’ve come, and that I can continue to improve. I am not a stationary person, I am always growing and will never cease to change.

Why do you feel the Gold Award was an important part of your Girl Scout experience?

I never liked group projects in school because I always ended up doing all the work, so having a team that was excited and ready to help was eye-opening for me. Girl Scouts is full of people who want you to learn, have fun, and realize you’re not alone. This has all helped me to get over some of my own issues from high school, and makes me feel ready for what lies ahead.

How did earning your Gold Award help you become a G.I.R.L. (go-getter, innovator, risk-taker, leader)? 

The Gold Award is quite a task to accomplish, and I got approval the last semester of high school. I had to be a go-getter because I only had the summer to complete my project and make sure it would be sustained after I had gone on to college (I could not wait around and slowly put things together).

It made me an innovator because I had to rework the project I originally had in Ohio (I moved, so all my plans and connections were gone and had to be adapted to the people I had met in Colorado.)

It made me a risk-taker because I had to go, go, go so being nervous about contacting places to host my workshop, or asking a group to sustain my project after I was done was not something I could hesitate on. So, I jumped and found it all fell into place.

I had to be a leader because I had a team of advertisers, volunteers, and individuals ready to help make items for the workshop needing me to specify exactly what I wanted and when it had to be done.

**IMPORTANT NOTE: This blog represents only a small fraction of the hard work, dedication and requirements that go into earning a Girl Scout Gold Award. It is simply a brief summary, which is meant to inspire Girl Scouts to Go Gold in the future. For more information on earning your Gold Award, please email