Girl Scouts of Western New York is proud to announce Rachel Reifsteck of Rochester, NY, as a 2022 Gold Award Girl Scout. Rachel is a member of Troop 60028.
What Rachel said about Girl Scouts
Girl Scouts helped me to understand the importance of service to others and our environment. It also helped me to obtain leadership skills that will prepare me for my future.
Project: Bat Houses
My Gold Award project was to build bat houses. The location of my project is at the First Responders Park in Gates, NY. I collaborated with the town of Gates Recreation and Parks Department and worked closely with Director of Parks to make my project possible. I created posters, flyers, and talked to people who showed interest in my project and educated them on the importance of the bats in our area.
Bat houses are helpful in providing a roosting habitat. These housing sites provide clean homes for bats that are free of white-nose syndrome. Bats are also beneficial because they eat approximately 3,000 mosquitos per night. A greater presence of bats means fewer pesticides are needed, reducing the amount of chemicals released into the environment. I created 4 bat houses that were constructed, painted, had plaques attached, and were affixed to trees I selected in the park.
The purpose of my project is to help the bat population in Rochester, NY, and secure a safe habitat for the bats as they are extremely important to our ecosystem. I chose this project because the population of bats is decreasing and bats play a significant part in our ecosystem.
About the Girl Scout 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.