Gold Award Girl Scouts 2021

Lauren Talma earns 2021 Girl Scout Gold Award

Girl Scouts of Western New York is proud to announce Lauren Talma of North Tonawanda, NY, as a 2021 Gold Award Girl Scout. Lauren is from Troop 70176 and has been a member of Girl Scouts for 10 years.

What Lauren said about Girl Scouts

I’ve been able to experience various acts of community service that other kids may not have the chance to experience.

Project: Bags to Beds

My Gold Award project was to utilize plastic grocery bags and recycle them into durable sleeping mats for homeless people. I have worked with Mats for a Mission, located in Erie County, in the past and liked their concept, so this is why I chose this project. This impacted the community by recycling and helping the homeless.

I told my friends and neighbors about my project. I asked them to collect bags and donate for my project, and I was able to tell them about my mission and how it served others. My initial goal was 500 bags, and I collected and cut more than 2000! One of the obstacles of this project was that the production and distribution of plastic bags in grocery stores ended in March 2020. I collected, cut, and tied together strips made of the plastic bags into a plastic ball of yarn (plarn) for making mats.

From this project, I learned that I can help others in need while also recycling and helping the environment. I learned from others that we can make a difference through volunteering your time and talents. My leaderships skills will grow in the future because of this project because I know I can see a project through and have patience.

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.

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