What did you do for your Gold Award project?
I implemented an educational program about bees at a local environmental center, The Catamount Institute. I wanted to address the problems facing bee populations, so I built a beehive and planted a garden to provide a good habitat for one hive of bees. I also wanted to use it to get others to care about bees as well, so I had children get involved in the painting of the beehive and planting the garden. I then created a six part curriculum to be used in conjunction with the beehive and gardens that will be carried out by the Catamount institute on field trips and summer camps.
How did you measure the impact your Gold Award project made on your target audience?
After running the curriculum, one child had gone from thinking bees were really scary to really liking them. The Catamount Institute will continue running this curriculum, and the impact can be measured by how many children go through this program.
How is your project sustainable? How will your project continue to impact after your involvement?
The Catamount Institute gives regular field trips as well as camps over the summer. They have been given a full guide to the curriculum and plan to use it moving forward for their field trips. Additionally, for everything I have done for the project, I typed up a manual- how to build the beehive, how to plant a bee-friendly wildflower garden, how to winterize the beehive, and details on the curriculum. This manual was provided to the Catamount Institute and sent to other wildlife centers to encourage them to set up a similar program.
What is your project’s global and/or national connection?
I reached out to other environmental centers with my curriculum. The three wildlife centers I chose were the Cooper Center, Long Branch Environmental Education Center, and Stillman Nature Center. The information I sent to these nature centers will also be available online, for anybody who is looking for beehive curriculum related things to find and use. Additionally, I have contacted a local, some state, and a national gardening club and provided them with my bee-friendly garden coloring sheet and flyer and asked them to help distribute them throughout their members.
What did you learn about yourself?
While I have always considered myself a natural leader, I do believe that this project has pushed those skills even further as I have now had the experience of training adults to carry out a project of my design, as opposed to working with peers or simply working with adults as opposed to training them. While I have always been a confident person, in this project I was initially shy about asking people to do things for me, but as I carried out events or stages of my project I became more comfortable as a leader.
How will earning your Gold Award impact you in the future?
Before doing this project, I could never have imagined that I could achieve something this big and actually make it matter. Now, I will go into life more confident in my ability to effect change. Additionally, I think that this was a really amazing opportunity to show potential employers that I am a capable leader who can be creative and come up with unique solutions to problems.
Why do you feel the Gold Award was an important part of your Girl Scout experience?
I was not very involved in Girl Scouts for a lot of high school, but after I realized that I wanted to do a project related to bees, I realized how great a resource being a Girl Scout could be if you wanted to make a change. In all of my career as a Girl Scout, I don’t think I have ever been more proud or happy to be a Girl Scout, and I think that is because no other aspect of Girl Scouting had required as much involvement as this did.
**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 email@example.com