Girl Scouts of Western New York is proud to announce Kaitlyn Hoitt of Fairport, NY, as a 2019 Gold Award Girl Scout. Hoitt’s project was titled “Enhancing the Veteran Experience.”
Hoitt explained, “My Gold Award project impacted the Veterans Affairs (VA) hospital in Canandaigua. I built and created 6 sets (12 boards) of indoor/outdoor cornhole yard games for the VA, and by doing so provided fun and therapeutic games for all disabled and non-disabled veterans, as well as creating an activity that will allow shy or unsure visitors to more easily converse with the veterans. I decided I wanted to help the VA hospital when my Girl Scout troop went there to donate Girl Scout cookies. Their real need was a better way for veterans and visitors to interact, and that lead me to my project. I built the cornhole boards from scratch. I cut the wood, constructed the games, sanded them, primed them, painted, and stenciled them. Additionally, 48 bean bags were constructed of highly durable fabric to hold up for many years of use. This was a really challenging project that would have been so much harder if I hadn’t received the advice and support that I did.”
Hoitt added, “Girl Scouting has taught me survival skills, not just in the wilderness, but also in the business world. I can build survival shelters, fires, and perform first aid. I can speak confidently in front of an audience, set and meet financing goals, and plan and execute events of all types. Girl Scouts has given me opportunities to explore and dive into different cultures and regions in many parts of New York, Vermont, Georgia, and Toronto. Through Girl Scout I have seen the wonders of serving the community, whether that service be simply helping out in a soup kitchen or the Bronze, Silver, or Gold Award. Everything makes a difference and an impact on people.”
Hoitt 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.
To learn more, visit gswny.org.