The Girl Scout Gold Award is the highest award that Senior and Ambassador Girl Scouts may earn. Earning the Gold Award requires many hours of planning and implementing a challenging, large-scale project that is innovative, engages others, and has a lasting impact on its targeted community with an emphasis on sustainability. By earning the Girl Scout Gold Award you will be joining the ranks of generations of young women who have made a difference both locally and globally.
Are You Ready to Earn it?
As part of a movement of 10 million girls worldwide, you are in an exceptional position to take action in your community to make the world a better place. Girl Scouts Juniors may earn the Bronze Award, Girl Scout Cadettes may earn the Silver Award, and Girl Scout Seniors and Ambassadors may earn the Gold Award. Each of these are the highest award that can be earned at their respective levels. If you take on the challenge to earn the awards you will join other Girl Scouts just like you who have made a commitment to make a difference in their communities both locally and globally.
2015 Gold Award Recipients
Claire B. from Troop 551 in Fresno addressed not only hunger in the Fresno area, but worked on solving the problem of lack of awareness of hunger in the community and what can be done to solve the issue. There were two phases involved with her project. Phase 1 was to organize a Neighborhood Market (farmers market without a cash register). Because of the success of the Neighborhood market, 25,000 pounds of fresh produce was distributed to 400 people, and she was able to proceed with Phase 2 which included a collaboration between the food bank and the University Presbyterian Church to establish the new pantry.The pantry is now distributing food once per month.
Marina C. from Troop 989 in Fresno found many veterans were not marked as a veteran and she wanted to change that. She worked with staff at the Ararat Cemetery to go through records to find the names of all the veterans at the cemetery. She investigated ideas for placing some type of identifier that could be placed on each headstone that would signify the person buried there was a veteran and able to withstand all types of weathering. She conducted a successful fundraising campaign to raise enough funds (approx. $3300) to put a United States flag medallion on every veteran’s grave in the cemetery. Families of all future veterans buried in the Ararat Cemetery will have a choice to have this same flag marker put on their headstone.
When Lauren C. from Troop 305 in Fresno was young and in elementary school she did not like to exercise and it was not until she was in high school that she learned to love to play tennis and found it was a great way to exercise in order to stay fit. She wanted to help children ages 8 to 10 understand that exercise can be fun. She developed a 3-day tennis clinic. She chose to do her clinic at the Pinedale Boys and Girls Club as this is a very economically disadvantaged area. She also wanted to target childhood obesity as this is a growing epidemic. Lauren created a detailed 3-ring binder which outlined all the drills and exercises she incorporated into the 3-day program. The Boys and Girls Club of Pinedale will easily be able to duplicate her tennis clinic using the information Lauren created.
Jennifer E., a Juliette from Fresno, ended up choosing a project to do with the Fresno Rotary due to her passion to help other people. Jennifer created a video for the Fresno Rotary website to inform potential members and the public about all the Fresno Rotary supported projects. She ended up with seven hours and 20 minutes of footage, which she had to edit down to just five minutes and 36 seconds! This alone was a difficult task. Working with background noise at the location that was selected was also difficult. Ultimately it was a success! The video was shared with 250 students and teachers at Jennifer’s high school. She received excellent feedback from the students and teachers, as well as the Fresno Rotary members. Many were interested in the projects Fresno Rotary invests in and are interested in volunteering with Rotary.
Erin M. from Troop 462 in Bakersfield decided the problem she wanted to tackle was safety preparedness and her target audience is today’s youth – under age 18. She wanted to create awareness, information and hands-on activities to teach about a variety of potential tragedies that happen around the world and in Kern County. Most safety preparedness is targeted toward adults and not children so her project was intended to change that. She determined the root cause is that no one typically targets younger children. The Kern County Department of Public Health held a Community Preparedness Fair. Erin was allowed to have a booth at the fair to teach about a variety of natural disasters. Erin’s booth was located in the children’s section where they had anticipated approximately 250 families would pass through with their children (under age 18). Erin estimated at least 100 families went through the exhibit.
Shelby M., a Juliette from Tollhouse, has been on her school’s swim team for a long time and became aware that the storage of all the swim equipment (including some very expensive electronic timing equipment) was inadequate. She spent over 100 hours on the project and the project involved interviewing to see what needed to be done and what could be done, getting permission from the school district and her school, designing an appropriate shelter that would safely hold all the equipment, fundraising for all the supplies required to build her project, and then gathering a team to help build and create the proposed shelter. The shed has been completed and is being utilized by the Swim team and Yosemite HS.
Mary Beth N.’s mother works at a place called Community Support Options in Bakersfield, which has a day program for the disabled. About 200 people per day go to Community Support Options – some spend the day and many go there and are then transported to jobs in the community. Mary Beth, from Troop 554 in Wasco, realized that even though many people use the facility, there was no place for people to go outside and just enjoy sitting in the sunshine because there was simply no place to sit. She planned and designed benches and worked with staff on their location. Her father built the benches and when they were installed they took special precautions to anchor them firmly so they would not move as the safety of people with physical limitations and disabilities was is important. Mary Beth did fundraising for materials and supplies for the materials to build and paint the benches and also to have four planter boxes near the benches.
Taylor N. from Troop 305 in Fresno wanted to bring the joy of art to the residents at Vintage Gardens, a home for senior citizens. The issue she was addressing was the loneliness and lack of confidence many elderly adults feel. Taylor created a five day workshop intended for 12 participants each day. On successive days they created water colors, a cherry blossom tree, Monet’s art form with oil pastels, and paper flowers. To make her project sustainable Taylor left the materials and supplies at Heritage Garden along with an instruction manual on how to conduct each class. Taylor invited other residents and family and friends to attend a very nice reception held on the last day.
Kendall R. from Troop 465 in Bakersfield wanted to do something for the homeless in her community. When she approached the Bakersfield Homeless Shelter they showed her around and when she walked into the “Teen Room” she knew immediately that she wanted to do something for the teens at the shelter.
The entire room was revamped by the time Kendall was finished! Every wall received a new coat of paint, the old carpeting was stripped and new carpeting was laid down. Fundraising allowed her to purchase a new 46-inch TV for the teen room as well as a couch. The teens will be able to watch DVD’s with the new TV. Kendall was also able to repair the foosball table so it can now be used. A table and 8 chairs were donated and can be used as a computer desk. An additional small TV was donated so kids can play the X-box games on it.
Approximately six years ago Haley S. from Troop 889 in Fresno dislocated her knee and it caused her to learn why it is good for people to be prepared for emergencies caused by injury. Haley worked in conjunction with the coaches and athletic director at Edison High School to create her Emergency Action Plan. Her goal was to help students and athletes gain enough knowledge, through her plan, to be able to offer appropriate first aide until First Responders and/or EMT’s arrived. Haley planned a workshop which will be duplicated under the guidance of high school teacher, Steven Guerrero. The workshop includes presenting information on laminated reference cards which are held together on a key ring. Each reference card has information on how to handle a variety of emergency situations including concussions and broken limbs.
Hannah V. from Troop 767 in Ridgecrest chose to address the global issue of lack of fresh vegetables available to the elderly or lower income members of the community. The root cause of this problem in Ridgecrest is due to both poor gardening conditions in the community and also high produce cost due to the remote location of her community. Hannah worked with the Ridgecrest Presbyterian Church to help create community garden beds. Participants will maintain their own garden bed within the garden and will ensure all the beds in the garden will receive water and mulch. The local alternative high school also plans to create a gardening club or class during the school year and will use one of the beds for the club and gardening classes. A Facebook page was also created to spread information about the community garden and will promote continued interest in the garden.
Reina W., a Juliette from Clovis, chose to work with the Clovis Botanical Garden. She was pleased to find they had a very large metal storage unit that had been a real eyesore at the gardens. Reina’s project not only created a mural for the container, but it was also used to educate the public about drought tolerant plants. Reina studied the plants in the Clovis Botanical Garden and also studied other drought tolerant and low water usage plants. Reina set up a community paint day where people from the community came out to help paint. Reina used storm-coat exterior house paint followed by a clear coat to keep the mural from fading and to make it easy to remove potential graffiti. This also will preserve the painting for a long time.
History of Gold Award:
The Golden Eaglet insignia, the highest award in Girl Scouting from 1916-1939, marked the beginning of a long tradition of using prestigious awards to recognize girls who make a difference in their communities and in their own lives.
From 1940 to 1963, the Curved Bar Award was the highest honor in Girl Scouting. From 1963 to 1980, First Class was the highest award. To achieve First Class meant that a girl was an “all-around” person with some skills in many fields and a proficiency in one. Here is a picture of Juliette Gordon Low pinning a young woman who earned her Golden Eaglet.
Did you know? A Girl Scout who has earned her Gold Award automatically rises one rank in any of the U.S. military branches.