Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Gold Award Centennial Celebration in Washington, D.C.

Girl Scout Ambassadors Anne and Darden, both from Virginia Beach, were selected to attend a special Gold Award Celebration event hosted by Girl Scouts of the USA in Washington D.C. as part of the 100th anniversary of the highest award in Girl Scouts. In addition to attending a reception that was held on Capitol Hill in the Cannon Building where legislators spoke, including Virginia’s Senator Kaine, the girls were able to hear from Girl Scouts of the USA national CEO Anna Maria Chávez at a luncheon held at the National Press Club where she was the guest speaker.

Tracy Keller, Anne, Anna Maria Chávez, Darden
Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast CEO Tracy Keller, a former Gold Awardee who earned the award while in high school in Virginia Beach, and the council’s board chair, Cheryle Mack who is a senior vice president for BB&T Bank, accompanied the girls. More than 400 Girl Scouts representatives from nearly all of the 112 councils nationwide were present for both events, which gave attention to an award that the Girl Scouts hope gains more awareness among legislators, educators and those in the public. Compared to the Boy Scout Eagle award, the Girl Scout Gold Award requires more than 80 hours of dedicated time to a community service project that makes an impact on a girl’s community and is sustainable.

Purrington, who earned the Gold Award last August, shared her STEM-based (science, technology, engineering and math) project, which involved the development of an app for sailors. Fentress is still working on her Gold Award project, which involves advocacy efforts to end cosmetic testing on animals. Both girls had the chance to share their projects with legislators and fellow Girl Scouts from around the country.

Darden, Representative Scott, Anne, Cheryle Mack, Tracy Keller
“It was very inspiring to see all of the Gold Award projects and to see our accomplishments recognized and valued by such powerful women in leadership positions,” Anne said. “It was really great to feel like my voice was heard when I talked to our leaders in Washington.”

In a study released this year, the Girl Scout Research Institute confirmed the lifetime benefits for girls who earn the Gold Award. Researchers found that girls who earn the Gold Award display more positive life outcomes than non-Girl Scout alumnae. Gold Award recipients soar when it comes to seeing themselves as a leader, providing service to others through volunteerism and positive attitudes about themselves and the lives they lead. In fact, more than 90 percent of Girl Scouts not only attributed their success in life to Girl Scouts, but also said that they could not have had access to the same experiences elsewhere.

Earning the Gold Award is just one of the amazing things girls do as Girl Scouts. For more information about joining or volunteering, visit www.gsccc.org.