Honoring Patricia Whittington’s more than 50 years of service

While many of her peers were talking Woodstock back in 1969, Patricia Whittington was also talking Girl Scouts. She had joined the Girl Scouts while a young girl as they advocated for civil rights and launched an initiative to overcome prejudice.

She was there as a young adult when the actress Debbie Reynolds (who was a troop leader) headed a project to introduce the Girl Scouts to under-served communities while building value for the older girls. Soon she would be a part of their work to improve understanding of ecology with a new environmental education program.

Patricia Whittington joined the Girl Scouts in the early 1950’s and earned her First Class and Curved Bars as a Girl Scout. As an adult and parent her service never stopped. In addition to numerous stints as a Troop Leader and Cookie Manager, she served in various leadership capacities for the Aurora Service Unit, which helps coordinate all the local troops. She’s also volunteered regionally for the Girls Scouts of Buffalo & Erie County and served as a delegate at national conferences.

While much has changed since her first days, the core values of the Girl Scouts has remained the same, and Patricia Whittington has loaned her time and talents to the organization in every one of those years. All four of her daughters were active Girl Scouts and remain involved as adults as Troop Leaders and managers for the East Aurora Unit.

On Wednesday, August 28, 2019 the Girl Scouts in East Aurora recognized the retiring leader and volunteer by dedicating a Little Free Library and a park bench at the Aurora Community Pool Park at 690 South Street in her honor. A second bench was also installed to salute Girl Scouts of the past, present and future. Members of her family, friends, other leaders, and many of the Girl Scouts whose lives she touched were present for the surprise presentation.

The dedication was organized by Girl Scout Calissa Rosinski, who built the library and coordinated signage for the occasion, as part of her Silver Award. The Immaculate Conception graduate and incoming East Aurora High School freshmen is the daughter of Kelly & Philip Rosinski of East Aurora.

Did You Earn the First Class, Curved Bar, Golden Eaglet, or Gold Award?

[The story originally appeared on GirlScouts.org]

Prior Highest Awards Join Gold Award Family

Girl Scouts who earned their First Class, Curved Bar, Golden Eaglet, or Golden Eagle of Merit, are a part of the Gold Award Girl Scout family. To make it official, we’re debuting a digital credential for you to display on LinkedIn (and other digital platforms) to show that you earned the highest award in Girl Scouting. Now you can display your award with pride and show the world—and potential employers—that you can triumph over any challenge that comes your way! Fill out the form below to access your digital badge, and if you are a recipient of one of the prior awards, you can get your Gold Award pin, too! 

Official Gold Award Status

WHEREAS, since 1916, Girl Scouts have accepted the challenge of earning the Movement’s highest award, thereby demonstrating a commitment to bettering themselves, their communities, and the world; and
WHEREAS,this highest award has had different names over the years, including the Golden Eaglet (1916–39), the Curved Bar (1940–63), First Class (1938–40, 1963–80), and, since 1980, the Girl Scout Gold Award; and
WHEREAS, those who have earned it have shown the same outstanding leadership skills, determination, and resilience that have made Girl Scouts’ highest award a unique rite of passage for young women across the Movement;
NOW THEREFORE, I, Sylvia Acevedo, chief executive officer of Girl Scouts of the USA, do hereby proclaim that all who have earned the highest award in Girl Scouts can on this day, January 15, 2019, and henceforth be recognized as Gold Award Girl Scouts, united by their similarities and their ideals, with all rights and privileges therein.

Request your Gold Award Pin and Digital Credential

Through the Years

The highest award in Girl Scouting has gone through many name changes since it was established in 1916 as The Golden Eagle of Merit. Now it’s called the Girl Scout Gold Award, but the essence remains the same. It is awarded to girls who embody community leadership through their actions.