Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Gold Award Spotlight: Champion Kickers

Poquoson Girl Scout Camille Freeman  has earned the Girl Scout Gold Award, the highest honor and achievement a girl can earn in Girl Scouting.

For her project, Camille organized and led a soccer camp for children in the Poquoson community who have special needs. Her goal was to introduce children to soccer, a sport she has been playing for 14 years, and help the children at the camp work on developing their communication skills.

At the camp, Camille taught the children important stretches and warm up activities to reduce the risk of injury during soccer practice, led them in drills to learn dribbling, passing and shooting and led activities to help the children build their agility and teamwork skills.

“I had worked in a soccer development program for children with special needs outside of my community for a couple of years,” Camille said. “I saw the impact that it made on their mobility, happiness and overall daily lives so I wanted to bring this sort of program to a place that desperately needed it—my community.”

In order to run the camp, Camille recruited and trained a group of volunteers, mostly fellow high school students, to help facilitate the activities. Before the soccer camp started, she taught the volunteers important tips and information about how to best work with children who have disabilities.

Camille has coordinated her efforts with Poquoson Parks and Recreation to ensure that she can continue to run the camp each summer.

The Gold Award requires girls to identify an issue in their community and carry out a Take Action project to address the matter through leadership work. Nationwide, less than 6 percent of eligible Girl Scouts earn the Gold Award, which adds Camille to an elite group of female leaders across the country with the honor.