Girl Scouts of West Central Florida held its annual Girl Scout Gold Award Reception on Saturday, June 6 at the Double Tree Hotel in Tampa, Florida. It was an inspiring afternoon, as we celebrated the outstanding achievements of Girl Scouts that earned the Gold and Silver Awards.
In the past year, Girls Scouts took action to improve the lives of others, help the environment, promote education and increase safety in their communities just to name a few. To begin the afternoon, the Gold Award recipients showcased their projects with backboard displays lining the entire room. Those attending the event were able to wander the room, meet the girls, and learn about their community service efforts.
The presentation began with a flag ceremony presented by Troop 1046 from the Sunset Scouts Community. We were happy to have Meredyth Censullo, local media personality, follow the ceremony and serve as our Mistress of Ceremonies for the second year. GSWCF Board President, Felecia Gilmore-Long gave her opening remarks and recognized the 2015 Girl Scout Silver Award Recipients.
The Girl Scout Silver Award is the highest award a Girl Scout Cadette can achieve. Our council is proud to honor 68 Cadettes with the Girl Scout Silver Award this year. Girls earning this award have discovered issues, connected with their communities, developed leadership skills, and taken action to advocate for their passions.
Our keynote speaker was Courtney N., a Girl Scout and the reigning Miss Pinellas Outstanding Teen. She is a previous Gold Award recipient for her project, Students Organizing Cancer Krazy Socks (S.O.C.K.S.) which collects aloe-infused, moisturizing, and bright crazy socks for cancer patients. In the past three years, Courtney has collected over 10,000 pairs of socks and her organization is now an established 501(c)(3) nonprofit. We are so proud of what Courtney has accomplished since beginning her service project in 2012.
Linda VanOosting, a long time Girl Scout volunteer, awarded Ann Hensley Scholarships to three exemplary Girl Scouts Jordan L., Sarah L., and Courtney N.
For the main event, GSWCF had the pleasure of honoring 23 outstanding young women with the Girl Scout Gold Award, the highest achievement in Girl Scouting. This award recognizes outstanding accomplishments in the areas of leadership, community service, career planning and personal development. Each award recipient was recognized individually on stage and had the opportunity to make a few remarks. Many of the girls used this platform to share outcomes of their service projects and thank family, friends and mentors for their support. It was amazing to see what these young ladies achieved with their Gold Award projects.
To close out the ceremony special guest, Jessica Muroff, recently named as the new CEO of GSWCF, came on stage to say a few words to the honorees. This event was the perfect place to introduce Jessica by meeting a few of the brightest and most outstanding girls in our council. Jessica will officially be joining GSWCF on July 1. Learn more
Words cannot describe the amount of passion, enthusiasm, and dedication that was showcased at the Gold Award Reception. These future leaders truly live up to the Girl Scout mission and are actively making the world a better place. Kris Johnson, GSWCF Interim CEO, said it best on Saturday, “It only takes one girl to change the world.”
Visit the GSWCF Facebook page to view photos of the entire event.
Do you want to Go Gold? Find out how you can earn the Girl Scout Gold Award.