Past and present Gold Awardees, along with Girl Scouts of Colorado Women of Distinction and Board Members, gathered to celebrate Girl Scout Week with a reception at the Denver Public Library. Thank you to the Colorado Women’s Hall of Fame for hosting the event. Everyone enjoyed learning about the inspiring women in the Hall of Fame and visiting with different generations of Girl Scouts.
Gold Awardee Christina Bear delivered the following speech to the crowd:
Today is a celebration…a celebration of Girl Scouts’ Highest Awards. We are honored to be in the presence of several Girl Scouts of Colorado Board members and Women of Distinction. Most of all we are ecstatic to introduce our newest Gold Award recipients to a lifelong sisterhood.
This is a special year as 2016 marks “100 Years of Leadership” – a century since the highest award was created. The Gold Award has been called the “Golden Eagle of Merit” the “Golden Eaglet”, the “Curved Bar”, and the “First Class” since 1916.
This spring, we celebrate 47 girls who have earned their Gold Award. Over 1,500 Girl Scouts have also earned Silver and Bronze Awards this year and, we are immensely proud of their accomplishments as well.
Each one of you here tonight has a special characteristic…that of Commitment.
From the time a Girl Scout presents her Gold Award Proposal to the Committee, there is dedication to a cause. In spite of the “bumps” in the road and wondering sometimes if she’ll ever get her project to a point of completion and write her final report…it’s dedication and faithfulness that gets her through.
I want to take a special moment to remember our Gold Award mentors. If we take the time to learn about what they have done in the past, I’m sure they have amazing stories of commitment. It’s exactly that mindset that is imparted during mentorship – we learn so much from their experiences. And that’s what makes Girl Scouts a very special organization – the mentoring. Please join me in applause for our mentors.
During my Gold Award process, I learned things I never would have otherwise. My mentor, Rae Ann Dougherty, a Girl Scout for 45 years, Woman of Distinction, engineer, and entrepreneur suggested that I write an Executive Summary for my project. I had no idea what that was. I soon discovered that an Executive Summary is intended for use in decision-making and is described as the most important part of a business plan.
As you go through the rest of high school, I want to tell you first-hand that the skills you learned in the Gold Award Process will come to good use. Speaking on the phone, shaking hands, looking at people in the eye, writing goals, establishing budgets. It’s no wonder that job recruiters are more likely to hire a Gold Awardee!
Less than 3% of Girl Scouts throughout the nation earn their Gold Award. This is a very special group, a small group that knows all that goes into doing a project worthy of the Gold Award. Your projects have all earned Gold because they are not merely community service projects. They are Take Action projects, which sets Gold Awards apart.
Most young people don’t think about Impact when they do a project. They don’t think about Sustainability. As teenagers, we’re used to living in the moment. The Gold Award process is unique because it pushes us to think beyond a one-time community service project. Though the concepts of Impact and Sustainability seem impossible at times, that’s what true leaders accomplish when they want to bring about change.
Today, we have Women of Distinction in the room who know the meaning of commitment. Like our highest awardees, these women know how to take commitment to achievement! Along the way, there are risks and hurdles, and I am sure they have been there. Now, it’s time for our generation to follow in their footsteps.
I salute you my fellow Girl Scouts…For setting goals and following them to completion. Today, you join the ranks of those whom we consider achievers. Think about the lessons you have learned. Think about the personal changes that you have made. Think about the people you have met and perhaps touched or inspired along the way…And all because you made a bold step of COMMITMENT.
Congratulations on a job well done.