Gold Award Girl Scouts 2021

Elizabeth Rutalis earns 2021 Girl Scout Gold Award

Girl Scouts of Western New York is proud to announce Elizabeth Rutalis of Webster, NY, as a 2021 Gold Award Girl Scout. Elizabeth is from Troop 60868 and has been a member of Girl Scouts for 13 years.

What Elizabeth said about Girl Scouts

Girl Scouts taught me leadership skills.

Project: RISE Community School Clothing Closet

I built a clothing closet at the RISE Community School No. 106 in Rochester to provide proper clothing for low-income families that is suitable for the harsh Rochester climates. There are many local families who do not have items to meet their basic needs. The closet was set up at RISE so that the clothing people need would be easier to access. When I worked as a summer camp counselor at a Girl Scout camp, I saw some of the campers wearing clothing unfit for the seasonal weather.

In conjunction with the Center for Youth Services, I painted walls in a portable unit next to the school, plus organized and labeled bins for clothing that has been donated to the clothing closet. I set up a clothing drive through the Webster Service Unit and many leaders donated clothes.

I helped improve my leadership skills by communicating often with the RISE Community School principal, custodial staff, and my project advisors. I learned that I am comfortable communicating with my superiors on important issues such as this. I believe that as a result of this growth, I will have an easier time communicating and presenting to my peers in the future career.

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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