Girl Scout Highest Awards

Eliza Klos: 2019 Gold Award Girl Scout

Girl Scouts of Western New York is proud to announce Eliza Klos of Orchard Park, NY, as a 2019 Gold Award Girl Scout. Klos’ project was titled “Chestnut Ridge Park: Lower Loop Trail and Bridge Restoration.”

Klos explained, “My project focused on building and installing two new footbridges to replace broken bridges on the Lower Loop Trail in Chestnut Ridge Park in Orchard Park. I also restored the trail area around the bridges. I collaborated with the Erie County Parks Department, the Park Rangers, the Chestnut Ridge Conservancy, and Niemiec Builders. I chose this project because I use the park often. I enjoy running and hiking these trails and noticed the disrepair of the bridges and the impact to the trails and the forest. I wanted to improve the trails for all the people that enjoy the park and help minimize the environmental impact from the people going off-trail because of the broken bridges. The project helped improve the safety of the bridges and trails for my community and stopped the damage to the surrounding forest from the prior misuse of the trails. This project required that I assess and plan for the building and implementation of the bridges, and removal of the old bridges, in ways that were environmentally friendly. I also had to design the bridges using the proper materials to ensure they were sustainable. The project required that I develop and organize a team for each step of the process: from the design, to the approvals, to the building, installation, and removal of the bridges.”

Klos added, “Girl Scouting helped teach me about the importance of community involvement. Through Girl Scouts, I have made many friends. It has also provided me with a wide array of life experiences.”

Klos will receive her Gold Award at the Gold Award Ceremony on June 1, 2019. The Girl Scout Gold Award is the most prestigious award in the world for girls.

The Gold Award project is the culmination of all the work a girl puts into “going for the Gold.” A Girl Scout’s project should be something that a girl can be passionate about—in thought, deed, and action that encompasses organizational, leadership, and networking skills. The project should also fulfill a need within a girl’s community (whether local or global) and create change that has the potential to be on-going or sustainable. Approximately 80 hours of community service are involved in the project. Completion of the Gold Award also qualifies the Girl Scout for special scholarship opportunities and to enter the military a full rank higher than her peers.

The Girl Scout Gold Award, the most prestigious award in the world for girls, acknowledges the power behind each recipient’s dedication to not only empowering and bettering herself, but also to making the world a better place for others. These young women are courageous leaders and visionary change makers.

The Gold Award requires a Girl Scout to identify an issue and investigate it to understand what can be done to address the problem. The girl then forms a team to act as a support system, including a project advisor close to the issue who is not a troop leader or family member, while she leads the project. The Girl Scout creates a plan to ensure they know what steps they must tackle while working on the project. The Girl Scout submits a proposal for her project to her local Girl Scout council. After acceptance, the girl begins to work through the steps of their plan utilizing the assistance of her support team where necessary. Lastly, the project is used to educate and inspire others about the cause they are addressing.

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