Girl Scouts of Western New York is proud to announce Emily Szczublewski of Orchard Park, NY, as a 2022 Gold Award Girl Scout. Emily is a member of Troop 31273.
What Emily said about Girl Scouts
Girl Scouts has given me the opportunity to experience things that I would have never had, such as sleepovers in the Buffalo Science Museum and camping at Camp Seven Hills. I have also met my best and closest friends while in Girl Scouts, and I would have never have talked to them otherwise. I have done so many crafts and science experiments that I would have never heard about if I have never joined or quit when girls that I knew stopped going.
Project: Sensory Hallway for Lorraine Elementary School
For my Gold Award, I designed, cut out, and installed a sensory hallway for the use of Lorraine Elementary School in the City of Buffalo. I noticed that children would become interruptive and distracted in a classroom setting without mental or physical stimulation. When they become distracted it is near impossible to teach them and it impacts the attention of others. My Gold Award project addressed this issue by allowing children to release extra energy in a positive manner. The school’s Occupational and Physical Therapists use the hallway daily as part of the children’s services.
The goal was to provide an extra space for children to work on both their fine motor and gross motor skills, as well as hand-eye coordination. The sensory hallway is accessible at all times during the day, unlike a traditional playground which depends on good weather.
My target audience was children in pre-k to second grade, but had the possibility to help kids as old as the eighth grade. My project also appealed to teachers as another way of teaching or challenging kids to name the letters, numbers, colors, and shapes. I practiced public speaking when talking to parents about the hallway, demonstrated decision making when I needed to cut ideas out of the finished hallway, and improved my research skills while researching what young minds needed the most and what teachers teach in their curriculum.
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.