I did a research project about the Longmont Sugar Beet Factory. I started by interviewing people who had worked at the Longmont Sugar Beet Factory or had connections to it. These interviews were then turned into a podcast style format and posted on my website (https://lillyemma24.wixsite.com/loco4loco/podcasts).
The next step of my project was to write a children’s book, The Magic Beet, which is the story of three children as they travel back in time and learn about the sugar factory. A copy of each book went to each elementary school in the St. Vrain School District and is still available for purchase on my website. I also had several book readings at the Longmont Public Library and I presented to several different organizations, including the Longmont Kiwanis and Longmont City Council, about my project.
How is your project sustainable? How will your project continue to impact after your involvement?
The book I wrote, The Magic Sugar Beet, is still currently for sale online and my interviews have all been kept on my live website. Additionally, a copy of my book was placed in the libraries of every elementary school in our district, and eight teachers have given me confirmation that this book will become a part of their curriculum. Currently, the third grade history curriculum is focused on local history, but some of the teachers I have talked to have said that not much time is spent talking about the Longmont Sugar Beet Factory (an important part of Longmont’s beginning), so when teachers read the book to their classes and listen to the podcasts, the work I did for my Gold Award is able to be sustained for years to come.
What is your project’s global and/or national connection? / How did you measure the impact your Gold Award project made on your target audience?
I published a survey on my website that was available to Girl Scouts and anyone around the world to fill out. This survey asked people questions about whether or not they planned on learning about their local history, and it also had a challenge of learning one fact about their local history that they did not already know. This part of my project, encouraged learning about local history for all ages, and results showed that over 71% planned on continuing to learn about their town’s local history. More about this project can be found at (https://lillyemma24.wixsite.com/loco4loco/local-history-project).
What did you learn about yourself?
At the beginning of this project, I was nervous to reach out and talk to people I did not know, but through my Gold Award project I learned that I am capable of planning a project and leading a team. Even though I was often worried throughout the process that people would find me incompetent, I stuck with it and learned that most people were very eager to help me with my project even if I wasn’t an expert on the material. Through this project, I learned I was able to talk to important people in the community whether it was our city council when I shared my project with them, or people who worked for the St. Vrain Historical Society.
How will earning your Gold Award impact you in the future?
My Girl Scout Gold Award has given me the skills to run a project and the confidence to do it. I gained many team leading skills that can still help me in the future. I had four artistic friends who had agreed to illustrate the book for me. Even with a small team, delegating tasks was more difficult than I expected. They took about a month longer than the deadline to submit their art to me, and it was sometimes difficult to get them to respond to emails. Going into college and later my career with the experience of leading a team will help me greatly in being a better leader.
Why do you feel the Gold Award was an important part of your Girl Scout experience?
Getting my Gold Award was a very important part of my Girl Scout experience because it gave me the chance to put many of the leadership skills I learned throughout Girl Scouts (such as badges or summer camp), into action. The Gold Award was something I had really wanted to go after since I was a younger Girl Scout, and so it was rewarding to accomplish it and hopefully inspire other Girl Scouts to Go Gold!
How did earning your Gold Award help you become a G.I.R.L. (go-getter, innovator, risk-taker, leader)?
My Gold Award helped me become a better innovator. I got to discover a lot about a place and history of the Longmont Sugar Beet Factory something I knew virtually nothing about at the start of the project, so I had to do a fair amount of research. In school, we always get a very broad sense of history, so to delve deeply into one tiny aspect of history was really fascinating to me. Since my project was not strictly partnered with a particular organization or group, I had to take initiative and carve a path for this project that did not yet exist, and that required a fair amount of creativity. I had to problem solve when it came to finding people to interview or ways in which I could promote my project. I got used to changing and revising my project as time went on, and I think this aspect as well as learning about my history outside of class work helped shape me into someone who was able to more adapt easily to whatever tasks were thrown at me.
**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 firstname.lastname@example.org.