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.
The Girl Scout Gold Award is the most prestigious award in the world for girls. Reserved for Senior and Ambassador Girl Scouts, it is the highest and most difficult of all our awards. The leadership skills, organizational skills, and sense of community and commitment that come from “going for the Gold” set the foundation for a lifetime of active citizenship.
Each year, less than 6% of all Girl Scouts will earn their Gold Award and in 100 years of our highest award, one million girls have earned it or its equivalent.
More than just a community service project, girls who pursue their Gold Award must demonstrate a higher commitment to improving their communities and advocating for sustainable change.
In the process of earning the Girl Scout Gold Award, girls not only develop sustainable solutions to some of society’s biggest challenges- for example, cleaning up our oceans, increasing girls’ access to education, and addressing public health issues- they grow more confident and strengthen skills that guide them toward success in both school and their future careers.
When a girl becomes a Gold Award Girl Scout, she feels the satisfaction that comes from working to support an issue she’s passionate about; she also gains an edge in applying for competitive scholarships and in the college admissions process.
Interested in learning more? Visit our website today!
[Below is a guest post written by Gold Award Girl Scout Chris Belin]
My name is Chris Belin. I am a 38 year-old self-employed Health and Business Coach living in East Amherst, NY. Just over 20 years ago, I earned my Girl Scout Gold Award, and to this day, it is still one of my proudest moments!
I became a Girl Scout when I was 6 years old. I still remember our meetings in a church basement! Learning the Girl Scout Promise, selling cookies, and singing songs. Within a few years, I went to Girl Scout Camp and volunteered in the community at soup kitchens and homeless shelters. But, as I got older, it became more difficult to juggle my school work, sports, social life and Girl Scout activities. I wanted to quit. But, my Mom, not a Girl Scout herself, refused to let me. She knew the impact it had on me and the community. She said “this is your commitment and you are going to finish it!”
While in high school, I earned my Silver Award, and without much time in between, I began working on my Gold Award. My first two ideas were rejected by Council. I was so upset and shocked actually! But looking back, I see why. It would have been too easy! I really needed to push myself and do more for others. I began a project of Female Empowerment with young girls in my community. It lasted three months and was an amazing experience for them and me. I learned just how powerful one person can be, no matter their age! Nothing else could have better prepared me for college, and later….working full time, motherhood, and entrepreneurship!
I am now a wife and mom of two kids, an 8-year-old daughter and a 5-year-old son. Raising kids is a lot of work and it certainly “takes a village”. For that reason, and many others, we are and will always be a Scouting family. Girl Scouts is a great resource in teaching so many important life skills to my daughter, such as leadership, contribution, healthy relationships, financial literacy, entrepreneurship, etc. I am not aware of any other organization that does all that!
When I was a Girl Scout, I didn’t fully understand why we sold cookies. Through my daughter’s experience, I learned that the Girl Scout Cookie Sale is the largest entrepreneurial program for girls in the world! As an entrepreneur myself, I love that! It has taught my daughter how to be confident, how to talk to people, how to shake hands, how to manage money and deadlines, etc. She was her troop’s top seller this year!
I am thrilled to be part of my daughter’s own Scout experience. She is learning, growing, and having fun! If you have a daughter, I urge you to check out a local meeting, and find a troop that is right for her. You will be so glad you did!
Mompreneur & Founder, Design Your Days Nutrition