Girl Scouts of Western New York is proud to announce Nicole Spiegel of East Amherst, NY, as a 2020 Gold Award Girl Scout. Spiegel’s Gold Award was titled Daycare Project and focused on increasing literacy and availability of literature at a local daycare. For her project, she built a Little Free Library and picnic table, plus planted trees to establish a reading space. She finished her project through the distribution of digital literacy information during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Spiegel explained, “I chose to do this project to help form a strong reading base for young people prior to Kindergarten, as I struggled with reading in my early years. I built a little library and a picnic table for children at a daycare that I attended as a child. I am using resources wisely by holding a book exchange every year to recycle and donate leftover books to children and adults. Books make the world a better place by promoting literacy and helping people in my community. Learning can change your life forever!”
Spiegel stated she was excited to learn woodworking and how to plant trees, plus she gained confidence and problem-solving skills that left her feeling empowered and was glad that she stepped outside her comfort zone in pursuit of her Girl Scout Gold Award. Although the pandemic altered the course of her project, she has found that it’s still creating the benefit she hoped to see in the community and is excited for a time when the reading area and Little Free Library can be used as intended once again.
By earning her Gold Award during the 2020 Girl Scouting year, Spiegel 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.