What did you do for your Gold Award project?
For my Gold Award project, I built and installed a miniature library at the Sedalia Museum and Gardens for community members and visitors to exchange all of their favorite books, articles, and magazines. The structure looks like a caboose, themed after all of the trains that pass through the town each day.
Why did you pursue this Gold Award project?
I live in a very rural area, where the nearest library or book store is at least a half hour away. When I was younger, I did not read many books. Because of that I don’t have much of an interest in reading now, which frustrates me. I think that reading is an incredible skill to have and a great way to learn and pass time, so I would like to make books more easily accessible for younger children in my town so that they can find an interest in reading while they are young like I never did. There are also a lot of working people and elderly folks in my community, who have a hard time getting into the next town whenever they want to check out books or other resources, so my Gold Award project will make books and other reading materials easily accessible for everyone in town. People visiting the Book Caboose will also be able to share any reading materials they want with their friends or other community members through the Book Caboose, and visitors to it will be able to meet new friends who also love exchanging books there. The Book Caboose also brings a lot of attention to the Museum which runs off of the support of the community and volunteers.
How did your Gold Award project make a difference?
My Gold Award project provided a great opportunity for our town to not only share books and magazines with everyone in the community, but also to share friendships with others who visit the Book Caboose and love reading and exchanging books.
What skills did you gain through earning your Gold Award?
During the construction phase of the project, I had a lot of challenges to overcome and critical thinking to do, which helped me to grow as a carpenter and as a person. I also learned a lot about the importance of planning and budgeting time and money to reach the desired goals and outcomes. Building relationships with my team and focusing a lot on effective communication and collaboration was vital to completing my project the way I wanted to and I will make sure to apply these important ideas to future projects. I was also able to connect more with my community and the people within it which made me feel good to be a part of something bigger.
How did you make your project sustainable?
The Sedalia Book Caboose is located in front of the Sedalia Museum and Gardens, which is completely run by volunteers. All of the volunteers are still very excited about my project and have offered to check on it during their shifts at the museum to restock books or make repairs if needed.
What was your connection to the national or global community?
The Museum has a visitor log for people to sign in to and tell where they are from. We encourage people who use the Book Caboose to sign in as well, and so far we have seen that visitors from all around the state and even some from around the country have come to visit and have exchanged books, helping to spread reading materials and culture all around. I also became friends with a Slovakian exchange student this year at school, and told him all about my Gold Award project. He was very intrigued by the idea and intends to take it back to his home country.
What will you most remember about your Gold Award project?
I will always remember the good feeling of helping my community and becoming a more involved part of it, which I hope to do in my school community and 4-H community in the future, because it feels great to help others.
How will earning your Gold Award help you in your future?
I will be able to apply my newly learned or tuned skills from working with people, making plans, keeping records, and building my project to future challenges and projects in life to help me advance in whatever I am doing, even if it is just helping others or myself.
Why do you feel the Gold Award is an important part of your Girl Scout experience?
To me earning the Gold Award represents the summit of a mountain of experiences I have had in Girl Scouts: earning my first badge; selling my first box of cookies; going to my first camp; earning my Bronze and Silver Awards; and now receiving 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 firstname.lastname@example.org