Monday, September 23, 2013

Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast Hold Gold Award Alliance Event

Women who earned the top award in Girl Scouting, now called the Girl Scout Gold Award, gathered at Natural Elements Day Spa and Salon in Chesapeake on September 20 for a networking event. The Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast held the event to locally launch the Gold Award Alliance which is a national Girl Scout alumnae effort. Natural Elements, co-owned by Girl Scout alumnae Suzanne Garcia and Audrey Brown, offered guests a variety of free services during the event that included manicures, hair consultations and facials. 

Girl Scout alumnae guests also shared stories about their experiences in Girl Scouting - their projects they completed to earn the Girl Scout Gold Award, or one of its predecessors, including First Class and Curved Bar. Girl Scout alumnae and Gold Award recipients Leslie Clements and Jennifer Merritt, who were in the same troop for many years, had fun reconnecting at the event. Clements now teaches English courses at Virginia Wesleyan College and Tidewater Community College and says her Gold Award project was a natural beginning for what she does now as a teacher.

Both Clements and Merritt agree that earning the Girl Scout Gold Award helped to give them confidence and set them up to be successful beyond high school.

“It gave me the opportunity to do something independently,” Merritt said. “The leadership skills I gained while learning how to work on a project on my own have come in handy in my professional life.”

The Gold Award Alliance was formed as an opportunity for women who earned the highest award in Girl Scouting to reconnect with one another, as well as to mentor girls who are currently working on earning the Girl Scout Gold Award and to help increase recognition of the Gold Award and Girl Scouting in the community. Those interested in joining the alliance can email

Today, less than 6 percent of eligible Girl Scouts nationwide earn the Girl Scout Gold Award, which makes these women part of an elite group of female leaders across the country with the honor.