Girl Scouts of Western New York is proud to announce Rachel Lane of Amherst, NY, as a 2021 Gold Award Girl Scout. Rachel is from Troop 30580 and has been a member of Girl Scouts for 13 years.
What Rachel said about Girl Scouts
Girl Scouting gave me an avenue through which to enact change. Through completing my Girl Scout Bronze, Silver, and Gold Awards, I was able to make an impact on my community.
Project: Project Nutrition
I worked on my Gold Award project with TRY (Teaching and Restoring Youth), a group home for young women in downtown Buffalo. Nutrition education and access has always been an important topic to me, and I knew I wanted to center my project on it.
At TRY, I held biweekly educational seminars about different nutrition topics, and I collaborated with the girls there to build a vegetable garden. We grew cucumbers, carrots, peppers, tomatoes, and beans. Over half of the deaths in America are accredited to lifestyle-related diseases, and that’s something I want to continue to combat.
There were two main issues that my project addressed. The first was awareness about nutrition, and the second was access to good nutrition including situations such as “food deserts” where residents do not have access to fresh produce, or it is often very expensive. My goal was to address the gaps in the collective knowledge about nutrition and access by trying to spread education and awareness about the importance of our food choices.
Prior to starting my project, I had very limited experience in leadership, especially individual leadership with so much personal accountability. At first I was quite nervous because I haven’t really led projects before. I think in the future I will be more confident taking on leadership roles that require decision making and responsibility because I got so much experience with those things during this project. Overall, this project definitely helped me grow confidence and independence which I think will help me in my personal and professional life.
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.