What did you do for your Gold Award project?
For my Gold Award project, I built an adaptable obstacle course for the National Sports Center for the Disabled (NSCD). The course, called the NSCD Moves Course, is fully adaptable for anyone with any ability or disability, from being blind to being in a wheelchair. To make this course, I used ideas from the course located in the Denver Metropolitan area. I made improvements and updates to the obstacles to make them safer, more fun, and adaptable.
How did you measure the impact your Gold Award project made on your target audience?
To measure the impact my course made, I get feedback from participants after running the course and make observations regarding safety of obstacles while it is being run. I also talked to the College and Careers class at my school and was able to discuss the impacts. It is something that people rarely know about and think about when it comes to career options.
How is your project sustainable? How will your project continue to impact after your involvement?
NSCD is an organization that is constantly adapting and changing to incorporate new equipment. They are always upgrading equipment that they currently have to make it more comfortable and safer for the user. My NSCD Moves course will have obstacles added to it through the years, and the organization will keep the course in prime condition, so it is always participant ready. My course can be sustained and upgraded in the future by younger Girl Scouts as Bronze and Silver Award projects. Just having the foundation of the 10 obstacles makes it so the NSCD can change the course to be at any difficulty level they want and be able to add any obstacles they could need. After my involvement, the course will travel around Grand County and will be used to impact people from all around the world who travel here for NSCD programs.
What is your project’s global and/or national connection?
To show my project to the world, I constructed a website. I sent the web address to several therapeutic recreation centers around the country, so they would be able to see what an obstacle course like the NSCD Moves course can do to benefit participants. The NSCD also attracts many people from all over the country, and even the world, to see their innovative take on therapeutic recreation and how they are implementing the programs that they have. https://sites.google.com/egsd.org/nscd-moves-in-the-mountains/home.
What did you learn about yourself?
During this project, I had to really focus on and develop the leadership skill of communication. Before I began my Gold Award, I had never been good at communication and communicating in a timely manner. I used to just make plans on a whim and usually, it would work out. Having to put this together really showed me that I had much to improve on when it came to communication skills, especially when I am in a leadership position. The team involved in this project was very adamant about me having a set schedule at least two weeks in advance. After completing the project, I still have a long way to go with improving my communication skills, but I learned where I have a weak spot and now I can work to improve it. I have also learned some valuable skill in perseverance, as I had to cancel the work days for two weekends due to bad weather.
How will earning your Gold Award impact you in the future?
This process has taught me several valuable life lessons and skills. I learned to organize group activities, as well as how to use the dynamics of the group that I was working with to the best of my ability. This award has also taught my how to write a grant. Since then, I have written a few grants for clubs in my school. This project also opens even more doors for me with college and the military. I have been looking at going into the Air Force through ROTC and this project has given me some of the leadership skills that I will need to succeed in such a program.
Why do you feel the Gold Award was an important part of your Girl Scout experience?
My Gold Award allowed me to connect with my community in a way that I had not been able to in the past. With Girl Scouts, I have been a leader-in-training since the fourth grade. Being able to achieve the Gold Award shows me I have not only become a leader in my community, but that these skills learned through Girl Scouts will continue to impact me through the rest of my life.
How did earning your Gold Award help you become a G.I.R.L. (go-getter, innovator, risk-taker, leader)?
The Gold Award taught me the importance of innovation. To improve on this course, I had to come up with new ideas to not only make the course safer, but more fun as a whole. Wanting to go into an engineering field in college, it is important for me to develop the innovator aspect of being a G.I.R.L. as it is something that I will need to be able to do for the rest of my life.
**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.