Girl Scouts of Western New York is proud to announce Isabelle Schrock of North Tonawanda, NY, as a 2022 Gold Award Girl Scout. Isabelle is a member of Troop 71745.
What Isabelle said about Girl Scouts
Girl Scouting has been a part of my life for 11 years. My adventures, lessons, skills, and friendships throughout these years, and those still to come, have been very valuable. Valuable traits I gained from Girl Scouts include being an active part of my community, service to others, leader to my younger peers, and being well-rounded in knowledge.
Project: Squirrel Nest Boxes
When considering what to do as my Gold Award project, I immediately knew I wanted to do something related to animals and something that would help my local SPCA. I was inspired by a live/Zoom event my Girl Scout troop offered during our time at home for the COVID-19 shutdown. In order to keep things going and still interact with Girl Scouting, new inventive ideas for staying connected were born.
Zoom meetings were the new normal and became the lifeline for learning, activities, social gatherings, etc. I registered for a Zoom meeting with SPCA where the directors of the SPCA discussed numerous needs for help and support. At that moment, I knew this is where my project would be completed.
I started by contacting my local Erie County SPCA to inquire about their needs. They presented me with several different ideas, which I reviewed and shared with my troop. I eventually chose to build squirrel nest boxes. These boxes, which look similar to very large birdhouses, were needed for the growing years of baby squirrels. They provided shelter and safety from predators and the elements. They also provided a home for them away from suburban yards and gardens where they like to eat and sometimes damage plants.
Once I researched the actual plans for building the boxes, the materials required, and the required SPCA timeline, I was able to set my plan in motion. Obtaining the materials was accomplished through generous donations from various local Home Depot stores and individual supporters. The cool thing about my project was my brother was earning his Eagle Rank in Boy Scouts and together we chose to take on this need for the SPCA. We were fortunate enough to work side-by-side on the highest awards available from each organization.
The boxes were assembled through the course of multiple work days with Girl Scout Troop 71745, Boy Scout Troop 102, and family and friends. It was very rewarding to see the project come together and have the assembly complete. The next step was to deliver them to the SPCA. We delivered the boxes in March and got a tour of the wildlife areas. The SPCA was thrilled with the 20 boxes and it was such a great feeling seeing the project come full circle. The baby squirrels were ready for their new homes!
This project was so rewarding in a number of ways. Seeing the enthusiasm and excitement to help from my troop, the supporters along the way, and the SPCA themselves, was overwhelming! I feel very accomplished and empowered to take on any project or task that is in front of me in life.
I am very thankful to my family, friends, volunteers, Girl Scout Leaders and fellow Girl Scouts, the Boy Scouts, and the SPCA for supporting me along this journey and providing me with advice, encouragement and faith. I look forward to my Ambassador years in Girl Scouts and being able to support other scouts in my Troop on their quest for their Gold Awards.
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.