What did you do for your Gold Award project?
The issue addressed by this project was the declining population of bees worldwide. I hoped to educate people about the importance bees have in our lives and that we need and depend on them. If the bee population was to increase, then farmers would not have to pollinate crops by hand, saving both time and money, which would be passed on to consumers. The kids, who will be taught using my curriculum, will also grow up understanding the importance of bees as a result of this project.
How did you measure the impact your Gold Award project made on your target audience?
I saw an increase of activity on my website after distributing brochures about my project. All of my educational materials can be found on my website. This includes my curriculum and activity packets.
How is your project sustainable? How will your project continue to impact after your involvement?
I created a curriculum containing several different topics that educators can reference as many times as they need. The curriculum is available on my website, all materials are downloadable, and the materials are being given to Boys and Girls Clubs, after school care clubs, and religious schools with the intention that the educators will use them to educate kids for years to come. I have also created a brochure which was distributed at the Highlands Ranch farmers market. The brochure was available at the table where local honey is sold. In addition to facts contained in the brochure, I have also included a QR code to my website. The AP environmental science teacher at Highlands Ranch High School will take over the control of my website and future curriculum updates.
What is your project’s global and/or national connection?
My activity packets and curriculum will be sent to the Education Specialist at the Library of Congress in Washington D.C. Part of my activity packets and curriculum include small projects that kids can do with an adult to help the bees.
I am working with a Jewish educator to develop a curriculum specific to Rosh Hashanah. This curriculum will be used nationwide, as she presents teaching workshops at national conferences.
What did you learn about yourself?
As a leader I learned how to take action in a meaningful way. Most people would like to help other causes, but don’t know how. This project taught me how to help and how to get others to help from a leadership perspective. I learned how to communicate with others in a professional setting. This form of communication is new to me and I struggled with it a little. However, it is a very necessary skill to have. I also learned how to be flexible. When one thing didn’t go my way, I needed to figure out something else to do in its place. Flexibility is a necessary skill to have as a leader because it is necessary to adapt when something doesn’t go the way you want it to for reasons beyond your power.
How will earning your Gold Award impact you in the future?
This project gave me an opportunity to experience leading the kind of species conservation project I would see in environmental studies (my current degree program in college is toward a BS in Environmental Science). When faced with a team project, I will have the skills necessary to communicate to my team and delegate responsibility. I will also have the ability to collaborate with many different people.
Why do you feel the Gold Award was an important part of your Girl Scout experience?
The Gold Award is the pinnacle of Girl Scouting. Through achieving this award, I have gained the courage to communicate with others in a professional setting, the confidence to change the world using the resources I have been given, and the character of perseverance when life doesn’t go as planned. I connected with some people from the elementary school in order to set up a beehive. (Of course this did not actually happen because of circumstances outside of our control). I discovered that I had to choose another way to help the bees. I took action by creating a curriculum and activity packets that I gave to several different sources. A leader develops the materials and distributes them to people. I instructed my team how to approach childcare centers of their choosing in which to give my packets. I connected with a honey vendor at a local farmers market to distribute some brochures which contain the QR code for my website. I took action by leading my troop through the Save-A-Bee patch and then asked them to help me improve the curriculum. I discovered that being a leader is more than telling people what to do: it is actively making sure that things get done and how to improve the things that did not work as well. I also connected with a Jewish educator who is interested in promoting this issue because consuming honey during Rosh Hashanah is a tradition, and she believes it is important to educate the congregation about bees.
How did earning your Gold Award help you become a G.I.R.L. (go-getter, innovator, risk-taker, leader)?
In working on this project, I learned how to be flexible in attaining my goal. When one idea did not work, I had to find another way to accomplish my goal. This helped me become a go-getter. I learned how to communicate with people from a leadership role and how to delegate tasks so that my team could help me with my project. I learned that I can handle getting a group of people together and lead them in the right direction.
**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 firstname.lastname@example.org.