Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Gold Award Spotlight: Self Love Spread Love Curriculum

Girl Scout Ambassador Veronica recently earned the Gold Award for completing a project she titled, “Self Love Spread Love Curriculum.” 

Through research, Veronica found that teens are faced with many stresses but often lack the skills and education needed to cope in healthy ways. She found the most common causes of low self-esteem and stress for children 11-14 and developed a plan to make a difference by spreading education in the form of a middle school curriculum hosted online for easy accessibility.

“I researched what causes low self-esteem in teens and the topics I felt I could conquer were negative self-talk patterns, toxic friendships, comparison, and setting unrealistic goals,” she said. “Learning about these topics and understanding ways they can boost their own self-esteem will help teens be more resilient when facing challenges.”

On her website, she created a 45-minute lesson plan for each of the five segments that can be done in a class setting or at home with an accompanying video. Veronica’s website is available free to families here- https://bit.ly/3osAyUY

Congratulations, Veronica!

Gold Award Spotlight: Raining with Care Project

Girl Scout Ambassador Virginia recently earned the Gold Award by completing her project titled, “Raining with Care Project.” Virginia worked with Charlie Morse of Williamsburg Community Growers to understand the needs of an existing garden maintained by the organization in Williamsburg and its volunteers and organized plans to make an addition.

The garden is divided into several sections including a bee keeping garden, a teaching garden, a berry patch, family maintained plots, and a green house with community education and sustainment as the focus of all sections. Virginia designed a gardenscape that uses rainwater collection and pipes to encourage irrigation as a main component of its design. She also made a kiosk to educate visitors about the possibilities of irrigation, explain the design, and how rainwater collection can be used to improve a garden’s sustainability.

“I think it is especially important to aid our community through the conservation of resources,” Virginia said. “This is how we will be able to have enough to provide for the community and its later generations.”

Following the completion of her garden, she created a virtual “field trip” video tour of the garden for local elementary school students that could be shared with parents or in a class setting.

Congratulations, Virginia!

Friday, November 12, 2021

Gold Award Spotlight: EngineerKids!

Girl Scout Ambassador Evelyn recently earned her Gold Award by completing a project she titled, “EngineerKids!” She created a website and workshop curriculum aimed at students K-5 that details six major branches of engineering: aerospace, chemical, civil, electrical, mechanical, and nuclear while highlighting female engineers throughout the series. 

“The low numbers of women in engineering stems from the lack of exposure in their developmental years,” she said. “If girls are not exposed to the field when they are young, they will be more likely to dismiss it as a viable career option.”

Her website discusses, in detail, each branch of engineering and provides concept quizzes for students to test their knowledge at the end of each module. In each section of the online curriculum, there is an interview video with a female engineer in each of the six fields that goes along with the concepts learned.

Evelyn hosted two in-person workshops where she gave a presentation followed by hands-on projects for the elementary-aged students to explore the different fields in her community. She also created workshop kits with ten experiments inside and distributed the materials to area schools including Isle of Wight Academy. 

“Lack of women in STEM is a national issue,” she said. “Women make up only 28% of the workforce in science, technology, engineering and math (American Association of University Women). My project not only seeks to educate children in the field of engineering, but also, through the interviews, expose elementary and tween girls to real-life women engineers.” 

Families can access her free resources online at engineerkids.org.

Tuesday, November 9, 2021

Gold Award Spotlight: Ready, Set Play!

Girl Scout Ambassador Gabriella recently earned her Gold Award, the highest honor and achievement in Girl Scouting by completing a project she titled “Ready, Set, Play!” She recognized that many families were facing social isolation and wanted to offer a safe outdoor space in her community that was inviting for families to get out of their homes while involving her interest in tennis. 

“Because tennis doesn't require any direct person-to-person contact, players can enjoy the many physical and mental benefits that tennis offers in a safe environment,” Gabriella said.

She worked with John Ruggerio of Norfolk Parks and Recreation to assess the needs of Larchmont Tennis Courts and to determine ways she could make an impact and reinvigorate the property. She went on to update the space by doing landscaping, creating a mural, and replacing signage at the facility. 

Gabriella hosted tennis clinics with the help of volunteers named “Ready, Set, Play!” at the tennis court where the community was invited to experience the space and invited to learn about playing tennis and the importance of physical and mental health.

“Open spaces for activity provide many advantages including the preservation of nature, places for physical activity, and an escape from stress to reconnect with family and friends,” she said. "My project’s goal was to encourage adolescents to look outside and to look to nature for physical and mental health support.”

Friday, November 5, 2021

Volunteer Spotlight: Taryn-Marie Jenkins

Taryn-Marie Jenkins says her love for volunteering and helping others is rooted in her Girl Scout experience. She loves helping others and currently serves as a member of the GSCCC Gold Award Committee! She joined Girl Scouts as a Daisy in kindergarten and has been involved in the movement ever since, earning top awards that included the highest award, the Gold Award. To earn her Gold Award, she tackled an issue she cares deeply about, giving foster care kids opportunities. Her project, titled “Jumping the Hurdles – Foster Care to College,” focused on increasing the number of foster care youth transitioning to college in her community. While there were many components of the project, two important ones were building a website as a resource and distributing college kits to her community foster care teens. In 2019, she was recognized for her outstanding work on the project and earned the honor of National Gold Award Girl Scout, one of ten young women to be recognized and benefit from college scholarships.  

“My Girl Scout experience taught me so much,” she said. “I learned skills in project management, teamwork, fundraising, and marketing – to name just a few areas. I also learned a lot about giving back to my community through troop activities. We met at the Bethel AME Church in inner city Wilmington, Delaware.  Today, I actively volunteer, both on and off campus.”

GSCCC Volunteer Taryn-Marie Jenkins

 Today, she is a junior at Hampton University majoring in journalism with a cinema studies concentration.  As a member of the William R. Harvey Leadership Institute, she is also minoring in leadership studies and plans to graduate May of 2023. Her campus Involvements include the Phi Eta Sigma National Honor Society and the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority.  

“I am motivated to build a career in the television industry establishing myself as a storyteller,” she said. “My plans include writing and directing historical documentaries.  Additionally, I want to continue my work with foster care youth by establishing a nonprofit that promotes college readiness programming.”

Thursday, November 4, 2021

Gold Award Spotlight: Spreading Happiness Through Art

Girl Scout Ambassador Hannah recently earned her Gold Award  by completing a project she titled, “Spreading Happiness Through Art.” Hannah created a wall mural for the youth program building at First Presbyterian Church of Virginia Beach with the goal of spreading joy to all of those who see it.

The mural reads, “Love Your Neighbor,” and Hannah hopes the mural will serve as a friendly reminder to the youth at her church of the importance of kindness. She also hosted “kindness rock” painting sessions at her church where children from the congregation learned about art therapy and the difference they can make by being kind to the world around them.

“The kids all learned the importance of checking up on their friends,” Hannah said. “They learned the importance of decompressing by doing something you are passionate about and they each left the workshop with kindness rocks to give to a loved one.”

The mural will live on at  First Presbyterian Church of Virginia Beach and Hannah has provided informational note cards near the mural for those interested in learning more.