Girl Scout Ava is continuing work on her Girl Scout Gold Award. A portion of her project has been live violin performances in nursing homes in her local area. She’s expanded to include her troop in her performances at 2 locations recently. Can’t wait to see her get her Gold Award in June at the ceremony! 💛💛💛
[The information and quotes for this post were gathered from the ‘Girl Scout Gold Award Project: Mural at the Visitation Center‘ post on the Society for the Protection and Care of Children’s website. To learn more about her project, click here to read the full submission.]
Recently, Emma Smith, high school junior, completed her Gold Award project. Pulling from her love for art, Emma decided to paint a mural at the Monroe County Visitation Center, where there are 1,500 supervised visits a month between foster children and their parents/families.
Her inspiration came from the ‘Freddie-Sue’ bridge in downtown Rochester, named for Frederick Douglass and Susan B. Anthony. She added some of the city skyline, the Genesee River, and a peregrine falcon. She wanted a design that would appeal to both children and adults who passed by it when coming to the Center.
She spent many hours researching foster care in Monroe County and working with different organizations to get the project and mural design approved. Once the details were finalized, Emma spent four days painting the mural.
To fund her Gold Award project, she pulled from profits she’s earned during her 10 years of selling Girl Scout cookies!
Based on her submission, the mural began bringing joy before it was finished, with children smiling and looking at it as they passed by when Emma was in the process of painting it.
Well done, Emma, and congratulations!
Zaria Gibson-Stevenson recently completed her Gold Award project! Watch her project and learn more about it, in her own words!
“I did a Girl Scout recruitment and awareness video that interviewed African American/Black Girl Scouts from all troop levels talking about how fun and exciting scouting can be. My Gold Award Project video, Inspire You, will hopefully help brown and black girls stay in Girl Scouting to the Ambassador level, and encourage new girls to join Girl Scouts.”
“My Inspire You Gold Award Project video helped others by showing brown and black girls the benefits of Girl Scouting. It also showed positive images of brown and black girls doing positive things. It also gave my Girl Scout sisters and I another positive experience in Girl Scouting.
I was able to bond with my Girl Scout sisters, and encourage them on one day completing their Gold Award Projects. I was able to serve as a role model to them, and that made me feel good. Another good thing that came out of my Gold Award Project was that many of my Girl Scout sisters in my Williams Park Service Unit stated how they now wanted to work on their Gold Awards.
One of my Girl Scout sisters told me that when she heard that I was doing my Gold Award Project, it motivated her to complete her Silver Award. I was humbled and honored to be an inspiration to my younger Girl Scout sisters. It has taught me that you never know who is looking at you, and it is always important to set a good example.”
“I hope to encourage African American/Black girls to join Girl Scouts, to stay in Girl Scouts, and to see all of the benefits of Girl Scouting. I want my video viewers to learn about the importance of being a good Girl Scout sister, the activities/journeys some scouts participated in, the Girl Scout Promise and Law, and how to be a sister to every Girl Scout.
While going on Girl Scout cookie fundraisers/troop activities, my Girl Scout sisters and I would often get comments from others in the community about how surprised they were to discover that black and brown girls were involved in scouting, and that I was involved in a predominately black/brown Girl Scout troop. They would often comment how many of my Caucasian/White Girl Scout sisters were often visible in Girl Scouting, and that they did not know any black/brown troops existed. I wanted to do something to change that.”
Congratulations for your incredible work, Zaria!
Ava Giangrasso is currently working on her Gold Award. She is creating a video series of her violin performances and then traveling to local nursing homes to perform in-person. She is providing the residents and staff with resources and info to access her videos so they can be viewed at any time. In the photo below she is performing at Brompton Heights and they loved her so much they asked her to come back next week.
[The following was submitted to GSWNY from Danielle’s mother and troop leader Elizabeth Bellis.]
Danielle Bellis loves soccer. She started playing in the local league’s in-house program when she was five years old. She has since played on the league’s travel team, and the school’s modified, junior varsity, and now varsity teams. She worked as a referee for the league’s in-house program and volunteered as a coach for an ad-hoc preschool program they were considering. Then when Dani decided to go for her Girl Scout Gold Award, which requires completing a sustainable community service project, something soccer-related seemed like a logical choice.
The league president suggested she create an official preschool soccer program that they would maintain in the future and offer free. Dani jumped at the idea of creating a soccer program for the community. She could share her love of soccer while starting young kids on the road to a healthy lifestyle of physical activity, self-confidence, and team work. As she considered the benefits the program could provide the community, she realized her program could benefit more than just the preschool kids.
This was also an opportunity to get older kids involved as coaches and encourage them to start volunteering in their community. She could create a coaching packet to make it easy to coach even without any soccer experience.
This past spring Danielle did just that. She created a teen-led and coached soccer program for preschool age kids and called it “First Kicks.” She put together a coaching binder of activities and games, as well as a few coaching tips. She registered 60 preschool participants and recruited nine teenage coaches beside herself. She ran a six-week program with two 45 minute sessions on Saturdays, one for 3-year-olds and one for 4-year-olds.
At the end of the season, Danielle provided the league with all the materials it needs to continue the free program including an annual schedule and budget, advertising materials, a list of contacts, and the coaching binders.
Danielle completed the requirements of the community service project and earned her gold award. She will graduate this spring and plans to continue volunteering for the First Kicks program.
We’re about halfway through our 2018-19 Membership Year, which leaves many potential Girl Scouts thinking there’s no reason to join now. The school year is almost over, which means Girl Scouts is about to shut down too, right?
Actually, this isn’t right at all. While most troops choose to take the summer off, the Girl Scout experience doesn’t end in May. Joining now still gives you tons of time to get involved and begin your Girl Scout journey.
#GirlScoutingYearRound is a new way to remind people that we have exciting opportunities all year long. It might be too late to sell cookies, but there’s still tons of time for camp, community service, and getting to know your troop.
Starting now means you settle into being a Girl Scout and when the new year roles around, you’re ready to experience everything new we have planned. You’ll learn more about our programs and your troop. Plus, you can use the summer to earn badges and learn new and exciting things!
We have programs over the summer around our council, including tours at the Lockport locks and cooking lessons at an animal sanctuary. We believe in providing the fun all year long.
If you or your girl is older, joining now can give you an edge in your future. Our higher awards – the Bronze, Silver, and Gold Awards – are designed to help you get involved with your community to make a difference. You don’t have to earn them all, meaning you can start as a Girl Scout in 10th grade and work toward your Gold Award.
Once achieved, you can use this as a way to start in the military a whole rank higher or on your college applications as a way to stand out.
What makes our program unique is we are girl-led, meaning we let our Girl Scouts decide where they want to go and what they want to learn. Joining us at any time means you can define your experience, allowing you to pursue your passion for STEM, get outdoors, learn more about the history of our region and so much more.
The limit does not exist when it comes to your potential with Girl Scouts.
[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.
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.