Girl Scouts of Western New York is proud to announce Abigail Jones of Pittsford, NY, as a 2021 Gold Award Girl Scout. Abigail is from Troop 60843 and has been a member of Girl Scouts for 13 years.
What Abigail said about Girl Scouts
Girl Scouting has had a tremendous impact on my life. Girl Scouting has made me a better leader, friend, and person. It has taught me to love camping and the outdoors, and to do what I can to leave the world a better place than when I found it. Girl Scouting has also taught me to appreciate the things that I have and the people around me. By volunteering, I have learned the importance of giving back to my community and helping those who are less fortunate than myself.
Being a Girl Scout has allowed me to make countless friends of all ages whom I hope I will always be friends with. I’m very grateful to have had leaders who cared so much about me, my troopmates, and our well-being and success. I have learned to keep a positive outlook on things and to keep pushing through any obstacle that I encounter. Most importantly, Girl Scouting has taught me to be a sister to every Girl Scout.
Project: Project Educate and Create
For my Gold Award Project, I focused on creating greater awareness about the environmental harm that is being caused by humans. I wanted to show people that they can make a difference in the health of the planet by changing simple activities in their daily lives.
I have been a Girl Scout since I was in first grade, and I have spent countless hours outdoors enjoying nature and this beautiful planet. I want to make sure that future generations will be able to experience the world as I have. My project, Project Educate and Create, was all about educating children of different ages about recycling and reusing in order to reduce their trash production.
The first part of my project was teaching students at Pittsford United Nursery School (PUNS) about littering, and then doing a craft with them using (clean) beach trash that my family collected on vacation. The next part of my project was meeting with the Art Club at my school, Sutherland High School. I brought in some common, non-recyclable materials which I had collected, and asked the club members to come up with ideas for projects that could be made with those materials.
Soon after that, the COVID-19 pandemic sent us all into quarantine, and I had to shift directions with my project. The next step involved another lesson at PUNS. For this lesson, I came up with a craft using some of the materials which I had brought to the Art Club meeting. Unfortunately, due to social distancing rules, I could not be there with the PUNS students, but I recorded a video for them to watch which introduced myself and the craft. I also sent in some earth-friendly reading and coloring activities for each student to bring home.
The final part of my project was educating Girl Scouts from different troops in the Pittsford Service Unit about recycling and doing two non-recyclable material crafts with them on a Zoom meeting. The first craft was a snowman holiday hanger, and the second was a search-and-find activity, both using old, unused petri dishes which would have been thrown away otherwise.
My project will have a lasting impact on my community because I had leftover craft kits from the Zoom meetings which I donated to the Pittsford Service Unit for future use. I also created an Instagram page (@projecteducateandcreate) on which I post craft ideas and information about environmental issues and what people can do to minimize their carbon footprint.
About the Gold Award
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.
For more information on the Gold Award, click here.