Friday, January 25, 2019

Gold Award Spotlight: Break the Stigma

Girl Scout Kaylee has earned her Gold Award, the highest honor and achievement a girl can earn in Girl Scouts.

For her project, “Break the Stigma,” Kaylee addressed the lack of education and readily available resources surrounding mental health issues. She was determined to find a way to help others achieve positive mental health status.

Kaylee created visibly labeled bookshelves filled with informational pamphlets on mental health for students to bring home to their families in order to start a conversation about the subject. She wanted to erase the stigma surrounding mental health so that more students could become more confident in asking for help. Kaylee also created a public service announcement to be played on the morning announcements at her school to inform the student body of the resources that were in the library.

“Mental health is an issue that impacts my friends and me. Some suffer from anxiety and others from depression,” she said.

Kaylee used her project to inspire others by posting on her social media accounts to start a discussion on mental health with her friends. She also posted the PSA on her YouTube channel for the public to view and posters were placed in participating high schools.

According to Kaylee, the most successful aspect of her project was when she got to help many students who struggled with mental health.

Her project was recognized by National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) with requests to implement in the Virginia Beach Schools.

In addition, Kaylee was honored in April 2019 as Scout of the Year by Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Post 4809 for the work she has done in her community. 

Thursday, January 24, 2019

2019 Cookie Classic Run

More than 400 runners and walkers cookie crawled their way through the 5th annual Girl Scout Cookie Classic Run on January 19 at the Great Dismal Swamp Canal Trail. The race, which included a 1-mile Samoa Stroll, 5K Trefoil Trek and 10K Tagalong run (new this year), was organized by Girl Scout volunteers from Community 3, a membership area within Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast that includes Chesapeake, Suffolk, Norfolk and surrounding cities.

The 5K and 10K races kicked off the morning’s festivities at 8:30 a.m. Runners celebrated sweet success along the path as they were the first people in Hampton Roads to enjoy Girl Scout Cookies.

As participants crossed the finish line, they were greeted with medals to show off their victory!

The fun continued as the top finishers from different age groups were recognized for their win. The awards ceremony was followed by a costume contest which featured a blue-bearded and tutu-adorned Cookie Monster couple- the winners of this year’s contest, Rosie the Riveter duo, and Girl Scout Cookie pair.

Girl Scouts who participated in the races completed requirements toward earning a badge for their age level, including the My Best Self badge for Girl Scout Brownies and the Staying Fit badge for Girl Scout Juniors.

Proceeds from the annual race help provide programs for Girl Scouts, learning opportunities and training for Girl Scout volunteers, and financial assistance for girls who otherwise would not be able to participate in Girl Scouts.

Thank you to our 2019 sponsors and supporters.

Friday, January 18, 2019

Welcome to the Gold Award family!

Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA) recently announced that Girl Scouts is officially bringing all Girl Scout alums who have earned the highest award in Girl Scouts- formerly referred to as the First Class, the Curved Bar, and the Golden Eaglet and now called the Girl Scout Gold Award- into the Gold Award Girl Scout family. GSUSA invites all highest award recipients to refer to themselves as Gold Award Girl Scouts.

GSUSA is offering these alums an official Gold Award digital credential to place on their social media profiles to show that they’ve earned Girl Scouts’ highest award, as well as a Gold Award pin and access to the Girl Scout Alum Newsletter launching in February. The newsletter will enable alums to connect with the Girl Scout Movement and keep up with all of the incredible things their fellow Girl Scout alums are doing across the country and around the world.

Recipients of Girl Scouts’ highest honor are part of an elite group of Girl Scouts who have truly distinguished themselves as prominent leaders in their communities and as true change-makers. Nationally, less than 6% of girls earn the Gold Award. Gold Award Girl Scouts provide sustainable solutions to society’s biggest challenges. These visionary leaders have tackled prominent issues by cleaning up our oceans, creating self-defense programs to battle violence against women, getting state laws changed to end forced child marriage, developing suicide prevention programs, and so much more. Recipients earn college scholarships, enter the armed forces one rank higher than other recruits, and demonstrate higher educational and career outcomes than their peers. Click here to learn more about the Gold Award.

Gold Award Spotlight: Kid2Kid

Girl Scout Jenna has earned the Gold Award, the highest honor and achievement a girl can earn in Girl Scouts. 

For her Gold Award, “Kid2Kid,” Jenna wanted to build upon a program at St. Mary’s Home that was founded in 2009 by her family by making it an organization that would be sustainable.  In order to become an organization Jenna assisted Kid2Kid in producing bylaws, running elections for youth officer positions, creating organization goals and more. There is now an official Kid2Kid board that will help run the organization when Jenna graduates and starts working on her college education.

Because of her Gold Award project, Jenna was able to demonstrate and improve upon her leadership skills while developing a plan to create a successful organization.

“Legacy was important to me in doing this because I did not want Kid2Kid to disappear when I go off to college,” she said.

Friday, January 11, 2019

Gold Award Spotlight: Thoughts of You- Memory Boxes

Girl Scout Nicole has earned her Gold Award, the highest honor and achievement a girl a can earn in Girl Scouts.

For her project, “Thoughts of You – Memory Boxes,” Nicole was inspired by her grandfather, who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, a progressive and irreversible brain disorder. When Nicole went to visit her grandfather at the nursing home, her first impression was that his room was an empty space.

“There was nothing to remind him of his vibrant life as a carpenter/mason, husband, father, and grandfather,” she explained. “I know he would have enjoyed seeing pictures of all the houses he bricked and built, and seeing pictures of his children and grandchildren. This is why my Girl Scout Gold Award project is so important to me.”

Nicole’s project addressed the importance of sensory stimulation for treatment for Alzheimer’s disease, which affects the brain function. Sensory stimulation enables recollection of cherished memories, spurs conversation, and can even calm patients. Nicole collaborated with Providence Place of DePaul to create memory boxes to inspire caregivers, friends, family members, and others to use memory boxes to stimulate and awaken emotions and memories in patients who have lost their ability to connect with the world.

With the help of her Gold Award, Nicole was able to improve her public speaking skills and self-confidence.

Friday, January 4, 2019

Gold Award Spotlight: Promoting Awareness of Naval History in the Chesapeake Bay Area

Girl Scout Suparnamaaya has earned her Girl Scout Gold Award, the highest honor and achievement a girl can earn in Girl Scouts.

Inspired by her four-year experience with York High School’s Naval Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (NJROTC), Suparnamaaya noticed that there was a lack of awareness and interest in naval history specifically in the Chesapeake Bay area- a region that is rich with it. She decided to take action!

“Due to the unique location of my program among other factors, I believed one possible solution was to research key naval battles fought essentially in our ‘backyards’ that vitally shaped the course of our nation, and then present the information in an engaging way to the cadets,” she said.

For her project, “Promoting Awareness of Naval History in the Chesapeake Bay Area,” Suparnamaaya created a presentation that focused on three specific naval battles: Battle of the Chesapeake, Battle of Craney Island, and Battle of Ironclads. Each of these battles played a pivotal role in their respective wars, and they each took place in the Chesapeake Bay or connected rivers. She presented to a total of 100 cadets at her high school.

She also created a visually appealing informational board containing the key points of her presentation that now has permanent residence in the NJROTC hallway at her school, allowing her project to be sustained.