Monday, January 2, 2017

Gold Award Spotlight: Stay Sand Smart

Angela, a Virginia Beach Girl Scout, has earned the Gold Award, the highest honor and achievement a girl can earn in Girl Scouting.

For her project, Angela focused on educating the community about sand safety. When her brother was a child, he fell into a hole he was digging at the beach and it collapsed on him, suffocating him. He was buried for 20 minutes, which caused a severe anoxic brain injury, leading to severe disabilities.

“Prior to beginning my Gold Award project, I viewed my brother’s accident as simply an issue within my family,” Angela said. “This project helped me realize that this is an accident that could happen to anyone in my community, and I felt the need to take action.”

Angela worked with the aquatic staff at the City of Virginia Beach Parks and Recreation Department to develop a lesson plan about sand safety that is now taught in the Learn to Swim classes at recreation centers in Virginia Beach. The lesson focuses on sand hole collapses, but also teaches children about germs in sand, protecting themselves from hot sand and what to do if they get sand in their eyes. Angela also created a brochure and poster to go along with the lesson.

In order to reach even more people, Angela placed her brochures at the Virginia Beach Visitor Center and the Oceanfront Library and hosted an informational booth at Scout Ready, a safety and emergency preparedness expo. Angela plans to continue to educate as many people as she can about sand safety and hopes to be able to work with local elementary schools to educate their students about sand safety.

The Gold Award requires girls to identify an issue in the community and carry out a Take Action project to address the matter through leadership work. Nationwide, less than six percent of eligible Girl Scouts earn the Gold Award, which adds Angela to an elite group of female leaders across the country with the honor. In 2016, Girl Scouts are celebrating 100 years of girls changing the world during the centennial year of the Girl Scout Gold Award.