Friday, January 18, 2019

Welcome to the Gold Award family!

Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA) recently announced that Girl Scouts is officially bringing all Girl Scout alums who have earned the highest award in Girl Scouts- formerly referred to as the First Class, the Curved Bar, and the Golden Eaglet and now called the Girl Scout Gold Award- into the Gold Award Girl Scout family. GSUSA invites all highest award recipients to refer to themselves as Gold Award Girl Scouts.

GSUSA is offering these alums an official Gold Award digital credential to place on their social media profiles to show that they’ve earned Girl Scouts’ highest award, as well as a Gold Award pin and access to the Girl Scout Alum Newsletter launching in February. The newsletter will enable alums to connect with the Girl Scout Movement and keep up with all of the incredible things their fellow Girl Scout alums are doing across the country and around the world.

Recipients of Girl Scouts’ highest honor are part of an elite group of Girl Scouts who have truly distinguished themselves as prominent leaders in their communities and as true change-makers. Nationally, less than 6% of girls earn the Gold Award. Gold Award Girl Scouts provide sustainable solutions to society’s biggest challenges. These visionary leaders have tackled prominent issues by cleaning up our oceans, creating self-defense programs to battle violence against women, getting state laws changed to end forced child marriage, developing suicide prevention programs, and so much more. Recipients earn college scholarships, enter the armed forces one rank higher than other recruits, and demonstrate higher educational and career outcomes than their peers. Click here to learn more about the Gold Award.

Gold Award Spotlight: Kid2Kid

Girl Scout Jenna has earned the Gold Award, the highest honor and achievement a girl can earn in Girl Scouts. Jenna is a senior at Kemps Landing/Old Donation School.

For her Gold Award, “Kid2Kid,” Jenna wanted to build upon a program at St. Mary’s Home that was founded in 2009 by her family by making it an organization that would be sustainable.  In order to become an organization Jenna assisted Kid2Kid in producing bylaws, running elections for youth officer positions, creating organization goals and more. There is now an official Kid2Kid board that will help run the organization when Jenna graduates and starts working on her college education.

Because of her Gold Award project, Jenna was able to demonstrate and improve upon her leadership skills while developing a plan to create a successful organization.

“Legacy was important to me in doing this because I did not want Kid2Kid to disappear when I go off to college,” she said.

Friday, January 11, 2019

Gold Award Spotlight: Thoughts of You- Memory Boxes

Girl Scout Nicole has earned her Gold Award, the highest honor and achievement a girl a can earn in Girl Scouts.

For her project, “Thoughts of You – Memory Boxes,” Nicole was inspired by her grandfather, who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, a progressive and irreversible brain disorder. When Nicole went to visit her grandfather at the nursing home, her first impression was that his room was an empty space.

“There was nothing to remind him of his vibrant life as a carpenter/mason, husband, father, and grandfather,” she explained. “I know he would have enjoyed seeing pictures of all the houses he bricked and built, and seeing pictures of his children and grandchildren. This is why my Girl Scout Gold Award project is so important to me.”

Nicole’s project addressed the importance of sensory stimulation for treatment for Alzheimer’s disease, which affects the brain function. Sensory stimulation enables recollection of cherished memories, spurs conversation, and can even calm patients. Nicole collaborated with Providence Place of DePaul to create memory boxes to inspire caregivers, friends, family members, and others to use memory boxes to stimulate and awaken emotions and memories in patients who have lost their ability to connect with the world.

With the help of her Gold Award, Nicole was able to improve her public speaking skills and self-confidence.

Friday, January 4, 2019

Gold Award Spotlight: Promoting Awareness of Naval History in the Chesapeake Bay Area

Girl Scout Suparnamaaya has earned her Girl Scout Gold Award, the highest honor and achievement a girl can earn in Girl Scouts.

Inspired by her four-year experience with York High School’s Naval Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (NJROTC), Suparnamaaya noticed that there was a lack of awareness and interest in naval history specifically in the Chesapeake Bay area- a region that is rich with it. She decided to take action!

“Due to the unique location of my program among other factors, I believed one possible solution was to research key naval battles fought essentially in our ‘backyards’ that vitally shaped the course of our nation, and then present the information in an engaging way to the cadets,” she said.

For her project, “Promoting Awareness of Naval History in the Chesapeake Bay Area,” Suparnamaaya created a presentation that focused on three specific naval battles: Battle of the Chesapeake, Battle of Craney Island, and Battle of Ironclads. Each of these battles played a pivotal role in their respective wars, and they each took place in the Chesapeake Bay or connected rivers. She presented to a total of 100 cadets at her high school.

She also created a visually appealing informational board containing the key points of her presentation that now has permanent residence in the NJROTC hallway at her school, allowing her project to be sustained.

Thursday, December 27, 2018

Gold Award Spotlight: Virginia Home for Adults: Inspiring Adults with Disabilities and Special Needs

Girl Scout Briana has earned her Gold Award, the highest honor and achievement a girl a can earn in Girl Scouts.

For her project, “Virginia Home for Adults: Inspiring Adults with Disabilities and Special Needs,” Briana wanted to inspire the residents of the home and let them know that they matter to the community. Briana’s project consisted of her updating three resident public spaces to make them comfortable and show the residents that someone cares about them.

“The root cause of my project was that many of the residents are financially unable to afford amenities and or personal services. I addressed this issue by making over three resident social rooms, creating a garden with seating outside and preparing a lunch celebration for the residents,” she said.

Her project showed her that people appreciate the kindness of strangers and that giving back to the community is extremely rewarding. She also gained leadership skills by learning how to delegate responsibility, planning ahead, and budgeting her money.

Because of her project, Briana said she will be able to take charge of certain tasks in the future to get the job done.

“My leadership skills will grow in the future because of all the planning and execution I had to do in order to manage Girl Scout Gold Award. This project has allowed me to gain endurance and to not give up when things get hard,” she said.

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Meet the Night Shift

A guest blog written by Girl Scout Cadette Maureen.

Meet the Night Shift, a recent event hosted by GSCCC, was a great event for anyone who wanted to learn about what it is like to work at night. Most of the people I met said that they sleep during the day while many kids are in school. Meeting all of the employees at certain places proved to be a challenge because some of the workers were on lunch breaks at 9 p.m.! The jobs I learned about during the event and the people I got to meet were fascinating. One of my favorite places to go was the fire station because firefighters work very hard. While I was there, I discovered that they work for 24 hours straight and then have 24 hours off. Some even have to work on Christmas depending on their shift schedule. They have to go through an academy and they have to know how to be firefighters, emergency medical technicians (EMTs), and medics because they have to do whatever is needed in the event of an emergency. Finally, I learned that because they all sleep at the fire station, they learn to be a big family and help each other out with whatever is needed. After the trip to the fire station, I didn’t think a job could be more interesting, but the police dispatch center was pretty cool. The center has employees who pick up 9-1-1 calls and get their information to send to first responders. They all have to go through training to make sure they can do the job and they can do it fast. We also got to meet two police officers, one was a volunteer officer. They told us all of the interesting things they get to do. Before they can do all of those cool things, they have to go through a 6-9 month training depending on what position they are looking to fill. To keep their license to shoot a gun, they have to practice at least twice a month. Something that I really loved is that you can go through the same training and have the same responsibilities as a paid officer even if you volunteer. But as a volunteer, you can say, at any time, that you’re tired and want to go home. We made a quick stop at the Chesapeake Regional Hospital. They sure did have a lot of cool job options there, too! The last place we went to was the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) traffic center. It is a very secure place and they try to keep everything locked up. They are connected to police and fire departments to stay up-to-date on accidents. They send traffic officers to accidents to make sure traffic doesn’t get backed up. They also have to go through a three-week training program. I hope that we can do this event again because I really enjoyed it. Thank you to everyone I got to meet and thank you to Chef Dedra at Now You’re Cooking Culinary Studio for making sure we didn’t go hungry during the event!

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Gold Award Spotlight: The Learning Garden

Girl Scout Desmone has earned the Gold Award, the highest honor and achievement a girl can earn in Girl Scouts.

For her project, “The Learning Garden,” her goal was to educate her community about healthy and affordable food choices. By breaking her project down into three different areas of focus, she was able to reach all different ages of her community. 

She started by partnering with First Baptist Church South Hill to start a Garden Ministry. She also reached out to the clients of First Baptist Church South Hill Food Pantry to educate them on healthy and affordable food options.

Desmone’ was able to overcome obstacles when learning how to perfect her garden and by adding some fresh soil she was able to yield an abundance of crops that were donated. 

She advocated in the community to encourage people to contact their congressional representatives and senators to improve food security for all Americans.

Finally, she taught her fellow Girl Scouts how to do container gardening with the goal of teaching the local youth how to create their own mini gardens to help sustain her project.

The work that Desmone’ did helped teach healthy eating habits to people in the community and gave them different avenues to find healthy food options.