Gold Award Girl Scout: Kyra TerLouw, Grand Junction, “Container Gardening Initiative”

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

I created vegetable container garden kits which included soil, seeds, nutritional information, and a bilingual “how-to” brochure, after experimenting with container gardening myself. I partnered with Community Food Bank to distribute the kits to low-resource families, with the hope of inspiring them to eat healthy produce at low or minimal cost, as well as teach their kids about good nutrition.

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

I kept track of the number of kits distributed and collected personal testimonies from family members who received them, as well as gathered feedback from food bank volunteers. A total of 39 kits were given to families in the community.

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

Families can continue and expand upon the container garden idea, so that friends, neighbors, and future generations will be positively impacted. My container garden brochure will also be distributed to future Community Food Bank families to inspire a greater number of people. A local church plans to duplicate my garden kit project next year. Library displays placed in Grand Junction High School and Central High School were donated for future educational use.

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

Healthy eating and living on minimal resources are global issues. People all over the world, not just in my community, struggle with limited access or affordability of healthy food choices.

What did you learn about yourself?

I learned to believe in myself and ask for what I need, that organization is a strength of mine, and communication is very important to getting things accomplished on schedule. I learned that an idea can become a reality with hard work and perseverance. I also learned how to project my voice… becoming more confident and believing in myself helped.

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

The Gold Award helped strengthen my leadership and communication skills, both of which are needed in the “real world.” Opportunities to take charge, speak publicly, and help others are everywhere. Earning my Gold Award has made me more self-confident.

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

The Gold Award personalized my Girl Scout experience. I was able to work on a project that I was passionate about, while making a difference in the community on a much larger scale than I had ever done before.

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

Earning my Gold Award helped me become an innovator. Using vegetable container gardens to address the need for low cost, healthy eating options among families with minimal resources was a new idea in my community. I took my love for gardening and shared it with others who could benefit from growing fresh produce. Another way I became an innovator was through the process of searching for support materials. I realized that much of the published materials about container gardening were for flowers, not vegetables. This discovery led me to develop my own informational brochure.

**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