Girl Scout Gold Award project: Makayla Kocher, Monument, “Art for the elderly”

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

For my Gold Award project, I created an enjoyable program for the elderly at a nursing home. I developed a resource book of painting and craft activities. Also, I conducted and coordinated classes once or twice a month for all levels of care such as skilled nursing, independent, and assisted living.

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

I knew my project made an impact because of the constant increase in participants and the strong desire to have more classes for different levels of care throughout the facility.  Also, many families began to schedule their visit in order to come and participate in the classes.  Due to the popularity of the classes, the nursing home began to offer more variety of activities for the elderly.

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

My project will be sustainable because the nursing home I volunteered has added more resources, such as Programs Director and Assistant Direct, who will carry out and plan activities for the elderly to enjoy. Also, the nursing home’s community room, which is where most of the activities for the elderly take place, is now equipped with more supplies than before. The nursing home has many different volunteers, some of which who have visited my classes and even partook in classes. In this way, my project will continue to impact after my involvement because the volunteers have seen how an arts and craft class is carried out. Along with my resource book, the volunteers and Programs Director and Assistant Director will be able to conduct classes and activities for the elderly.

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

My project has expanded beyond one nursing home. There are currently four other nursing homes interested in my resource book. I have reached out to different nursing homes through friends and the volunteers at the current nursing home. Also, I plan to give some of my resource books to other facilities in Colorado Springs and out of state.

What did you learn about yourself?

Through my Gold Award project, I have learned a great deal. I have learned that I am able to take on tasks that may seem difficult and terrifying. I know I can take charge of a project and keep it on track until it is complete. This experience has strengthened my love for the elderly. It has shown me that I have the ability to teach others. Ultimately through my project, I have gained a new sense of self-confidence.

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

The Gold Award will impact me in the future because it has made me more aware of my community and issue within. It has also given me the confidence to take on an issue and make a difference. As a result of my Gold Award project, I hope to always have time to volunteer and give back to others.

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

I feel the Gold Award was an important part of my Girl Scout experience. It gave me the ability to take on a community issue and make a difference. I was able to take my love of art and share it with others. The Gold Award was truly a highlight of my Girl Scouts experience.

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

By earning my Gold Award this helped me to become a go-getter. I identified an issue in nursing homes and developed a plan of action. By implementing my plan I was able to make a difference in the lives of others. My classes brought joy and new creative activities to the lives of the elderly, their families, friends, and the facility.

**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 highestawards@gscolorado.org