Nearly 300 Girl Scouts, families, and friends gathered at the Penrose House Garden Pavilion in Colorado Springs on May 5, 2017 to honor the more than 1,400 Girl Scouts from across Colorado who took the lead in their communities and earned one of Girl Scouts’ Highest Awards, the Bronze, Silver, or Gold Award.
The Gold Award, which is the highest honor in Girl Scouts, is presented to girls in grades 9-12 who demonstrate extraordinary leadership through a project that makes a difference in their community. The Silver Award is the highest award a girl in 6th – 8th grade can earn. The Bronze Award is the highest award a girl in 4th or 5th grade can earn.
Girl Scouts of Colorado President and CEO Stephanie Foote applauded the girls for having the courage and confidence to try new things and make their world a better place.
“Girl Scouts are groundbreakers, big thinkers, and role models. Giving back is in their blood. So is standing up to the challenge, no matter how big or small,” she said.
Jessica Mills, 2016 Gold Award recipient, served as the celebration’s emcee. She talked about her own journey to earn her Highest Awards and encouraged all the girls to continue to make a difference in their communities.
“I encourage you to reflect on the person you were at the beginning of your project, and look at the person you are today. I hope you find that you have grown confident in your ability to make a difference in the world,” she said. “Completing my Gold Award project made me find who I truly was – it defined my character. Gold Awardees, I encourage you to look back on your experiences in Girl Scouts. Your commitment to making the world a better place has instilled courage, confidence, and character within you.”
2016 Gold Award recipient and National Young Woman of Distinction Sarah Greichen was the celebration’s keynote speaker. She talked briefly about her journey to earn the Gold Award and how Girl Scouts helped her become the leader she is today.
“I cannot remember a day when Girl Scout flags, supplies, sashes, cookies, and girls planning events weren’t covering multiple floors of my house. We (the girls in my troop) each earned our Bronze and Silver Awards, while constantly practicing the leadership skills necessary to passionately lead, serve, and change the world,” she said. “Girl Scouts and in particular the Gold Award has given me unique opportunities to become courageous, caring, and confident, while actively practicing leadership skills that greatly impact the world. Girl Scouts also gave me the opportunity to identify and pursue my passion. I found that following your passion is the key to choosing and accomplishing Highest Awards projects.”
The focus of a Gold Award project is identifying and researching a community issue she is passionate about, developing a plan to address it in cooperation with her team and community members, establishing a global connection with others, and providing sustainability for the project. Of the skills learned through Girl Scouts’ Highest Awards, leadership, organization, and critical thinking are the fundamentals of the Girl Scout Leadership Experience. Some 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.