Friday, December 4, 2015

Gold Award Spotlight: The Edenton Tea Party

Edenton Girl Scout Tessa has earned the Girl Scout Gold Award, the highest honor and achievement a girl can earn in Girl Scouting.

When Tessa was a sophomore in high school, she had the opportunity of a lifetime to visit Denmark during spring break. While there, she sat in on a history class where the teacher did a lesson to teach Tessa and her fellow travelers about something from their hometown. The teacher talked about the Edenton Tea Party, which involved 51 women signing a petition to support political freedom of the colonies, is considered to be one of the first political actions by women in the United States.

During the lesson, Tessa was shocked to see how little her peers knew about the event, and more importantly, about the significant events in women’s history that happened in Chowan County. After returning from Denmark, Tessa decided to take action and educate fellow Chowan County students about the Edenton Tea Party for her Girl Scout Gold Award project. 

After conducting further research about the historical event, Tessa wrote curricula about the Edenton Tea Party and its significance for the second, fourth, eighth and eleventh grade history classes in the Edenton-Chowan Public School System. She then donated a book about the Edenton Tea Party to each elementary school library for teachers to use along with the lesson. Tessa also visited a second grade classroom to teach the lesson she had written to see her project come to life.

“I think it is very important for the young people in my community to know about this major event in women’s history,” Tessa said.

Tessa created a website where all of the teaching materials are available for people to download and use. She also took photographs around Edenton and created a virtual field trip on the website for people who are unable to visit Edenton.

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 Tessa to an elite group of female leaders across the country with the honor.