Gold Award Girl Scout: Renee Gangwish, Boulder, “Fence It Up”

What did you do for your Gold Award Project?

For my Girl Scout Gold Award Project, I completed an historic and environmental restoration project. My project was to restore the fences around Walker Ranch Homestead. It was mainly to bring out a group of volunteers to restore rotted out and broken down fences for the good of the community, as well as increase public awareness on a wide scale of the need for environmental restoration not only for current use, but for future generations.

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

I increased public awareness on a wide scale by using my curriculum to reach about 150 people at my dance team, 40 at the Parks and Open Space Advisory Committee meeting, and 30 girls and parents from my troop. I hope to increase the visitation percentage to Walker Ranch, but unfortunately I do not have any data to illustrate if this was accomplished as it will take more time for the data to be collected. I was the first Girl Scout to work with Boulder County, and have opened the door for many more to do the same.

How is your project sustainable?

The fencing will be sustained for many years after my project due to the new and stronger material we will be using, but also by others who have the same passion as me and will continue to restore these fences. The sustainability mission of Boulder County and Walker Ranch is to “maintain a high quality of life, without compromising the ability of future residents to do the same.” My curriculum will be sustained because I have a signed letter from the owner of my dance studio, Artistic Fusion, promising to allow me to continue on teaching and sharing my curriculum to inspire kids and their families from across all of Colorado. As well, my website will stay up and continue to be viewed by people, as well as promoted by Boulder County through a flyer of mine which will be put up at their offices to direct people to my website. This will allow my message to continue to be spread through the Internet and all of those who see it.

What is your projects global and/or national connection?

My project was shared in the local newspaper, as well as being aired on CBS4 News in Colorado. My website is able to be seen both globally and nationally. I sent my website to WAGGGS, Piper Jaffray, National Parks and Service’s Office of Public Relations, the State of Colorado Office of Public Relations, International Affairs Department of the University of Colorado, Boulder, as well as to Boulder County Parks and Open Space.

What did you learn about yourself?

I learned that I can interact and manage working with several organizations at the same time, although often challenging. I learned that I can recruit, organize, and lead a team of my friends and fellow students to accomplish a project of this magnitude. I learned that if I am passionate, hard working and persistent, it is possible to achieve great things.

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

I believe that earning my Gold Award will make me more prepared and confident in my actions in the future. Whether it be in school or in a job, I feel that this experience will be one a keep with me and use it to better myself in the future.

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

The Gold Award, though isn’t the complete end of my experience, was a summation of everything I have learned through Girl Scouts, as well as how Girl Scouts has changed my view on the world. The passion and care I have for the environment was curated through Girl Scouts, which is what lead me to create and spend a lot of my time on my Gold Award.

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 both a leader and go-getter. I had to coordinate with many different people and companies in order to get everything accomplished for my project, causing me to become a “go-getter” and take action to ensure everything got done. I also became a leader through taking charge of my project and everyone who helped me during the process.

**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

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