Category Archives: Highest Awards Archive

Evergreen Girl Scouts work on Silver Award project with JeffCo Commissioner Lesley Dahlkemper

Submitted by Lisa Carter

Metro Denver

Evergreen

This Girl Scout troop is earning their Silver Award by collaborating with Jefferson County Commissioner Lesley Dahlkemper to address the issue of teen vaping. I’m so proud of their efforts and I’m in awe of their creativity.

The girls talked to Senator Tammy Story about their project. She invited them to testify at the State Capital this session when bills on vaping are introduced.

This story was submitted using the Share Your Stories form. You can share your Girl Scout moments, too.

Gold Award Girl Scout: Taylor Sich, Lakewood, “H.O.P.E” (Hold On, Pain Ends)

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

For my Gold Award, I created “H.O.P.E” (Hold On, Pain Ends) for teenagers who need help with suicidal thoughts and need support. I also established many peer-facilitated groups at school, as well as created a website for parents and children to find resources and read about the stories of others that are going through the same thing as they are.

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

While the project is new, I was able to talk to the leaders of the groups to see about the attendance rate of each of them. I have received feedback from outside sources about the groups and parents being glad that the groups are available. I also established analytics for the website I created.

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

My project is being sustained by the counseling centers in the schools that are committed to keeping H.O.P.E. alive. In addition, the local businesses who have placed my posters in their businesses continue to drive people to my website, where additional information can be found.

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

My project has been shared through social media, as well as the resources I have met with, including the CEO of Centura Health, which is connected to 14 hospitals.

What did you learn about yourself?

I learned that I am stronger than I thought. I was able to overcome obstacles. I was able to grow emotionally and I learned how to be more sympathetic. I learned people skills, who to talk to, and how to truly understand someone.

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

I think that earning my Gold Award will help in many ways. Not only is it very beneficial for me to be able to put on my resumé and scholarship applications, it will also help me inspire others. I tackled a huge challenge and helped others while doing it, which I will forever enjoy sharing with younger Girl Scouts.

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

I think that my Gold Award was the cherry on top. I was in Girl Scouts for 13 years and I did everything I could, from Journeys to earning my Bronze and Silver Awards, now my Gold Award.  It was the perfect way to close a chapter that was so large in my life.

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

I think that my Gold Award made me a risk-taker. I am different than I was before. I will now pick up the phone and talk to someone who I would have been too nervous to talk to before.  And lastly, I will try, try more than I ever did before, to meet every challenge, regardless if I may fail.

**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

Gold Award Girl Scout: Christine Bolt, Steamboat Springs, “Camp Bloom”

What did you do for your Gold Award Project?

The issue my project addressed was the lack of summer camp opportunities in our area for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and other varying disabilities. Ultimately, I organized and arranged for a weeklong summer camp for children with autism. Each day was centered around an aspect of camping and outdoor skills, such as: building a fire, setting up a tent, and wildlife awareness. At the end of the week, the kids were to use the knowledge my team and I had taught them to camp away from home for one night.

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

I measured my impact by how happy or excited my campers looked each day. Camp Bloom was for the children more than everything. The name of Camp Bloom was inspired by the different stages of flower growth, with the notion that no matter where one is at, they may continue to grow and learn and experience new things. Now regardless if they retained anything from my camp, the most important aspect is the most powerful one of them all; it’s if they have fun. If they laugh, giggle, or however they express happiness appears, then I feel as though I was successful.

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

A local company in our town of Steamboat Springs has agreed to a permanent sponsorship for the next five years. However, if I am unable to continue to assume leadership and be “camp director,” I planned Camp Bloom with the Yampa Valley Autism Program (YVAP), which is an already substantiated organization in the community. By doing so, YVAP can proceed with my program, with the curriculum already created, in the future without me. While not as pertinent, I would like to “train” another Girl Scout in the hopes of her taking over my position and leadership of Camp Bloom. I really like the idea of the two intertwined organizations: YVAP and Girl Scouts.

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

Dealing with an autism diagnosis is already unsettling enough. Costs for specially devised programs and support are very expensive to begin with. While the state of Colorado has extremely low funding for family aid and autism research, I wanted to create a free camp to grow these kids’ knowledge and educate them on a topic that I very much appreciate and enjoy doing.

What did you learn about yourself?

I learned that do not, and should not, always need to seek approval in things that I do. I must be confident in my choices and if things go awry, I still need to stay positive and be proud of myself and what I ultimately accomplished. I also learned that it is important to take command and not be afraid to say what I want or prefer. And that prior to Camp Bloom, I was more timid to organizing things than I am now.

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

Forevermore, I will be able to say that I accomplished something that I am genuinely proud of. This achievement of mine can now be entered into resumes and applications for various things. I now have an idea of how to plan events and just how much work goes into doing such, and this knowledge I will be able to use in the future if need be.

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

This project taught me to open my eyes and look at the world around me. To affirm my role in the community and show me how I may influence those around me; and influence my sister Girl Scouts as well.

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

Of course, I learned to take charge and lead my camp. However, I will say that I definitely had to be a risk-taker for Camp Bloom. This required me to do things I had never done or tried before. I ultimately learned new things and did things through “trial and error.” I had some worries, but by taking chances, it certainly paid off.

**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

Girl Scout Gold Award candidate builds StoryWalk Trail

Over the past year, Girl Scout Gold Award candidate Avery H. has developed, planned, and constructed a StoryWalk Trail for the Town of Parker. It is permanently installed at McCabe Meadows, a nature trail located just off the Cherry Creek Trail. A StoryWalk Trail is a type of nature trail with signs installed along it, displaying the pages of a children’s book. A story can be read as the trail is walked.

“I pursued this project because it perfectly intertwined my love for both the outdoors and reading while also engaging children in my community. I wanted to be able to help other kids discover the love I have for books and nature,” Avery wrote.

Special thanks to Reporter Jeff Todd of CBS4/KCNC-TV in Denver for sharing  Avery’s story!

 

Girl Scout Gold Award candidate installs “Grow Tower” at high school in Colorado Springs

Girl Scout Gold Award candidate Emma P.  installed the first of two “Grow Towers” in the library of Palmer High School in Colorado Springs on September 30, 2019. Emma is working to earn the Gold Award, the highest honor in Girl Scouts.

Emma describes her project:

“Ever since I was a little girl, I have always been deeply interested in climate change and determined to help address it. For my Girl Scout Gold Award project, I wanted to pick a project that would help address climate change in my community. I decided the library at my high school, Palmer High School, would greatly benefit from a new environmental project, the installation of two hydroponic ‘Grow Towers,’ an indoor alternative growing system. ‘Grow Towers’ are vertical, hydroponic (plants grown in liquid instead of soil) growing systems, which grow various herbs, vegetables, and other plants in less than 3 square feet. This project has many important ramifications for my entire school. The cafeteria and culinary classes will utilize the fresh herbs and vegetables in their programs. I also plan on tying these towers into some science classes and am considering starting a new horticulture class to further educate and involve students in similar projects. Along the way, I have been working with teachers, administrators, and student groups to help maintain my project and work toward expansion. I have also met with and arranged for representatives from two community organizations (Pikes Peak Urban Gardens and Colorado Springs Food Rescue) to give presentations at my school about their organizations’ work. I am hoping students will feel more connected and interested in similar local work. Ultimately, I am hoping these towers will help the Palmer community learn about the importance of locally sourced and healthy food options within schools and students will feel a sense of empowerment in addressing climate change.”

A special thank you to the Colorado Springs News-Gazette and Fox21News/KXRM-TV for joining Emma for this event and sharing her story.

Open only to girls in high school, the Girl Scout Gold Award is the most prestigious award in the world for girls—and the most difficult to earn. The Gold Award project involves seven steps: 1. Identify an issue, 2. Investigate it thoroughly, 3. Get help and build a team, 4. Create a plan, 5. Present the plan and gather feedback, 6. Take action, 7. Educate and inspire. Of the skills learned through Girl Scouts’ Highest Awards, leadership, organization, and critical thinking are the fundamentals of the Girl Scout Leadership Experience. Universities and colleges offer scholarships unique to Gold Award recipients, and girls who enlist in the U.S. Armed Forces may receive advanced rank in recognition of their achievements.

Gold Award Girl Scout: Cassandra Sterns, Arvada, “Simply Technology”

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

For my Gold Award project, Simply Technology, I created and taught six technology classes for independently living seniors in Arvada, Colorado that helped them learn how to use their Android smartphone. Each class taught the attendees how to use different apps on smartphones such as messages, camera, email, and Internet. Knowing how to use technology is a huge part of today’s society, and not knowing how to use it often ostracized people, namely senior citizens.

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

I measured the impact of my Gold Award through a survey I had each of the members of my class take, and by the appreciation I received personally from the attendees. Many of the seniors approached me to tell me how helpful the class was and that they are no longer afraid to try new things on their phone. Additionally, my project was requested again, which showed that people thought it was helpful and successful enough that other people should take the class too.

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

My project is going to be sustained in two ways beyond my involvement. The first way that my project will be sustained is that the Jefferson County Public Library System will continue to hold classes that teach seniors about their smartphones. The second way is that I will have a website that can be accessed by anyone with the materials that I created for my classes and more cool tricks that I hope will encourage seniors to use their phones more often. The web address is https://sites.google.com/a/jeffcoschools.us/simply-technology.

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

I grew my Gold Award project from the original location at Stanley Lake Library to a second location, Brookdale Meridian Center in Boulder. The Brookdale Meridian Center is an independent living community for retired citizens (most are in the late 70s to 80s). At Brookdale Meridian, I taught a class to the residents and helped them to understand how their phones worked.

What did you learn about yourself?

I learned that I could have a voice that people pay attention to in a crowd and that I didn’t need to be handed a microphone when I wanted to talk to a crowd. I have always had a quieter voice and it gets overpowered a lot in discussions and conversations. I struggled during the first few classes to get my voice heard, but by the end, I was able to captivate my audience with a louder voice.

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

Earning my Gold Award is going to impact my future because it allowed me to grow and learn more about myself. My project challenged me to overcome some of my reservedness and helped me to develop as a leader. In the future, I will be able to use the skills I learned during my Gold Award project to impact the world in other and hopefully, larger ways.

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

Earning your Gold Award is an important part of your Girl Scout experience because it proves that you have learned something applicable through the organization. Additionally, it shows you that you can be an empowered young woman all by yourself and you can take on some of the problems of the world. The Gold Award is important because it culminates all that you have learned as a Girl Scout and focuses it into one project that you can be passionate about the rest of your life.

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

Through earning my Gold Award, I became a go-getter and a risk-taker. Taking on the project pushed me to pursue some of my own dreams and help the world around me; it enabled me to become purposeful. Additionally, putting myself up there in front of a group of people made me realize that taking risks aren’t so bad, in fact, my Gold Award made me more confident to put myself out there for people to see.

**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

Troop 74546’s Silver Award project

Submitted by Anna Boyle

Northern & Northeastern CO

Loveland

We are Troop 74546 in Loveland and for our Silver Award project, we painted inspirational quotes on bathroom stalls in bathrooms at an elementary school. We picked an elementary school that one of us went to and we made a presentation. In the presentation, we included how, what, when, and where we are painting. We presented to the PTA and the principal at Cottonwood Plains Elementary School. They allowed us to do it and we got to work. We went and got paint donated from a Home Depot store. We spent two days painting and making it perfect. We put a sealer on it and it was finished. The next day, the kids got to come in for Back to School Night and see our work. All of the teachers and students love the stalls and they were excited for the new year with newly painted stalls.

This story was submitted using the Share Your Stories form. You can share your Girl Scout moments, too.

Gold Award Girl Scout: Lauren Kettler, Thornton, “Popsicles of Positivity”

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

Popsicles of Positivity is a program that was created to help teach middle school-aged students about the need for kindness.  But, why is there a need for kindness?  One in seven students from K-12th grade are bullied, according to the http://antibullyinginstitute.org.  To defend these students from the threat of bullying, they need to learn kindness and perspective.  Popsicles of Positivity is a program that is designed to be a short activity that can be integrated into other programs.  The reason behind this theory is to help better fit into a class period or the time period of club or group.  While working on other programs, I have found that long programs have little effect on middle school-aged students, and they learn better when the subject matter is consolidated.  Through this program students will be focusing on dignity, bullying, self-kindness, and external kindness.  This program is a stepping stone to help students develop understanding and create habits of kindness.

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

I measured impact mainly through pre and post surveys to see how well each student understood the concept presented. After each presentation, I reworked Popsicles of Positivity to make the program better.

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

I have two confirmation letters from Immaculate Heart of Mary and Tomahawk Ranch saying that they will continue Popsicles of Positivity and implement the program into their curriculum. But, also the lessons in Popsicles of Positivity were created to make life long habits which will extend past the program into the student’s daily lives.

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

I was able to create a website that has all of my teaching outlines and other resources called https://popsicleofpositivity.weebly.com/. I have also been able to share my project with my service unit, Immaculate Heart of Mary, Tomahawk Ranch, and Rocky Top Middle School.

What did you learn about yourself?

I am a perfectionist.  I had the assumption before my Gold Award that I wanted my work to be better than most people’s work.  But, the realization didn’t really hit me until I flat out didn’t want to do my Gold Award project anymore, because in my head it would not be good enough.  I was so hesitant to start and finish my project, because I felt like if I didn’t do it right the first time, then what was the point in trying at all?   After my first presentation to the Kindness Club at Rocky Top Middle School, I felt like even more of a failure, because to me what I was saying did not feel inspirational.  After speaking with my youth group, I felt dismayed that the middle school students were giving me blank stares the whole time.  https://popsicleofpositivity.weebly.com/  felt too simple to me and not good enough for anyone to actually use.  After looking at another girl’s Gold Award project in my troop, in my mind, mine did not seem like it was showing any significant signs of change. Explaining the idea of Popsicles of Positivity to friends did not sound inspirational enough.  In my mind I felt like if someone else were to do my project, they would have easily been able to do it in a week or two.  I was working in an environment that constantly made me feel like I was not good enough to earn my Gold Award. Ironically, I was going against the ideas that I was preaching to the students.  I was being such a hypocrite and I was acting in this way until I took a step back and asked for help.

It is extremely hard for me to ask for help.  I have always been the person with the answers and level-headed solutions.  But my own head was spinning so much that having an unbiased idea about my project and how to define success was extremely hard, almost impossible.  Sitting down and telling my mom all my struggles was tedious.  I came to the realization that I had so much misery connected with my project that even explaining my situation was difficult.  It took multiple days of thinking and processing my struggles to conclude that I was over critiquing myself.  But it took even longer to believe that my project was impacting other people’s lives.  Only after having talks with my Gold Award  Advisor and Tomahawk Ranch Camp Director Monica Gray, did I realize that my project could flourish into something grander than what my imagination could create.  They were both able to explain to me that any project or idea is a process, of course nothing will be perfect at first, but that is the beauty of imperfection.  The lack of perfection, the first time through shows how much we learn the second and third time through.  I know now that if my project did not affect anyone else, it at least changed me for the better.  It taught me that I am not perfect, nor will I ever be.

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

I have learned many skills through my Gold Award including risk-taking, understanding perfectionism, and perseverance. Each skill is very important to shape me in the future. Being able to explore new ideas while embracing the unknown. Understanding myself as I become an adult. And understand what it means to try and try again because that is more important than perfection.

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

I think sometimes people don’t take Girl Scouting seriously, people are very surprised when at the age of 18, I say that I am still in Girl Scouts. The most common response that I get is that “Isn’t Girl Scouts for little girls?” The common assumption is that Girl Scouts if for elementary-aged girls not for middle, high school, or adult aged women. As I grew up through Girl Scouting, I learned many skills and had a lot of experiences, yet none of my peers took the idea of Girl Scouts seriously. Once I started working on my Gold Award, the title of a Girl Scout gained some weight. I was now changing my community past selling cookies, I was able to work with students to make them better people, teach them how to be kind and trustworthy people. I hope that my small impact may change at least a few ideas of what Girl Scouting is and the true meaning of what we do.

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

The main skill that I learned through my Gold Award is risk-taking. Seeing that I am a perfectionist I constantly strive to make everything right the first time around. I get very nervous and disappointed when things don’t turn out how they are supposed to the first time around. So when my first presentation didn’t go how I wanted it to I wanted to quit right there. To me there was no point in trying again because the next presentation would end up the same way. I had to get over my fears of failure, take a risk, and try again. Without my decision to take risks, I would not have earned my Gold Award.

**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

Gold Award Girl Scout: Amy Tomshack, Northglenn, “First-Aid and CPR in the classroom”

What did you do for your Gold Award project? 

For my Gold Award project, I addressed the topic of emergency preparedness in schools. I did this by organizing and running a Hands-Only CPR and Stop the Bleed first-aid class, as well as organizing and running a supply drive to collect supplies to expand the first-aid kits that are seen within my school (Northglenn High). The reason why I chose to address emergency preparedness the way I did was for two reasons. First of all, emergencies can take place anytime, and anywhere. With that said, knowing how to efficiently and effectively handle an individual bleeding profusely or unconscious with no pulse can mean the difference in their quality of life post emergency. Secondly, 17 students and faculty members at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School lost their lives on Valentine’s Day in 2018. To me, this was unacceptable, even losing one person’s life in a school was unacceptable, which prompted me to encourage individuals within a school to learn how to properly handle an emergency that involves bleeding and/or a lack of pulse.

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

I measured the impact that my project had on my target audience, the students and staff of Northglenn High School, through what they were able to learn about the importance of Hands-Only CPR, how to Stop the Bleed, as well as how to perform both life saving actions. The staff and students at Northglenn High School when they see someone lying on the floor, unconscious, and unable to breathe, they know to immediately begin chest compressions. This is because both students and staff are able to understand that a medical condition is causing that individual to be unconscious, and while the students or staff member may not know what exact condition is causing the state of unconsciousness, they are able to provide some help before paramedics arrive.

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

I am passing this project onto Northglenn High School’s HOSA (Health Occupations Student Association) chapter by providing them with access to my website, which has the process that I went through with completing my project: contacting the fire department, posting videos of applying tourniquets and hand compressions, as well as collecting emergency supplies contained a list provided on a website created for my project. I also obtained a letter of commitment from HOSA and North Metro Fire Department to make sure that Northglenn High School (my school) will continue to have the supplies to handle emergencies, and students and staff that have the knowledge fresh in their minds to be able to handle emergencies the best that they can.

In addition, anyone who views my website can have 24/7 access to life-saving information in the time after the most recent Stop the Bleed and Hands-Only CPR class and the next class through videos and infographics on my website.  Link to my website here: https://firstaidcprintheclassroom.weebly.com/

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

My national and global connections are with the national HOSA (Health Occupations Student Association) organization, of which one chapter is at the school I graduated from, and through my website, which is free for anyone to check out. After speaking with the national HOSA organization, the representative that I spoke to via e-mail informed me that they are partnering with the American Red Cross and the U.S. Public Health Service to begin a program called Stop the Bleed. HOSA has state, national, and international competitions every year, which means students around the state of Colorado and the United States participating in the Stop the Bleed event (upon release) will be studying and practicing the skills needed to perform the best at the competition they attend, and be able to have the skills necessary to save lives. Also, with just over half of the world’s population being able to access the internet, anyone in the world can access my website, which contains videos of how to perform life saving skills, such as applying a tourniquet.

What did you learn about yourself?

What I learned about myself as I completed this project is that I am quite persistent when I want something to get done, and I try to do everything within a timeframe and my ability to do so. This is because when I am really passionate about a subject, such as medicine, I really focus on what is going on, and I become more motivated to complete the task. I also was able to tune in to my caring personality with this project, because my biggest motivator throughout my project was how fed up I was that fellow students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, as well as other schools around the country, were dying from wounds that could have been easily treated on scene, possibly saving their lives. However, since I cannot change what has happened in the past, this project has made at least my school proactive, should the unthinkable happen.

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

Earning my Gold Award will impact my future because I will be able to have the confidence in leading a group of people to accomplish a goal. Before I had started and while working on my Gold Award, being a group leader had been a little ways beyond my comfort zone. However, since the Gold Award is girl-led, it was able to push me beyond my comfort zone since I was in charge of everything that would take place during my project. Now that I have completed my Gold Award, I am now confident in my leadership abilities, especially when it comes to providing emergency first-aid and CPR because I can direct the people around me what to do to help in an emergency until the paramedics can take over.

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

Earning the Gold Award has been an important part of my Girl Scout experience because as I have already mentioned, the project gave me the confidence to be able to lead something that I am passionate about. I love anything to do with medicine and helping people, and I was able to do both of those when I taught (the EMTs did the actual teaching) my classmates and teachers how to stop bleeding and perform chest compressions, should they need to perform one or both of those actions.

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 a go-getter in G.I.R.L. because I had to reach beyond what I knew before earning my Gold to be able to communicate effectively, meet deadlines, and to put my project into motion. Also, since there was no adult to tell me how my project should be completed, meaning no one to “grade” my work, I had to take initiative and plan out my project myself. Of course, I did have some friends and adults helping me complete my project, but ultimately it was up to me to plan things out and get them done. I wanted my Gold Award with a burning passion, and I am so thankful that the Gold Award encouraged me to go get what I wanted, and ultimately make me a more confident person.

**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

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