Girl Scouts of Western New York is proud to announce Justine Cole of Livonia, NY, as a 2020 Gold Award Girl Scout. Cole’s project, American Flag Education, involved educating grades K-5 on respect, history, and proper care of the American Flag in Livonia Elementary School.
Cole created a hands-on curriculum so her program was fun and effective. “I made flag puzzles for the Kindergarteners while sharing information about the flag to them,” said Justine Cole. “I also made practice flags and taught the 5th graders how to properly fold the American Flag while sharing the history of the American Flag with them and how it has evolved into what it is now. One other thing I did was teach how to properly retire an American flag and shared videos of a proper Color Guard while displaying damaged or ripped flags, to show them when a flag needs to be retired.”
Cole said that “Girl Scouts has helped me to realize that I have a passion for working with kids. It has taught me great patience and amazing leadership skills which will help me to be successful in any work environment. While I served as a guide for a younger troop, it helped me to find how happy working with kids makes me.”
By earning her Gold Award during the 2020 Girl Scouting year, Cole will be included in a virtual acknowledgment this June. All 2020 Gold Award Girl Scouts will receive the option to be a part of the 2021 in-person Gold Award ceremony next year to receive their Gold Award pin. 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 she can enlist in the military at a higher starting pay grade.
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.