Next week is our annual Gold Award Reception to honor the highest and most prestigious achievement in Girl Scouting – the Girl Scout Gold Award!
This award is given to girls in grades 9 through 12 who demonstrate extraordinary leadership through sustainable and measurable projects, marking them as accomplished members of their communities and the world. This year, we are proud to recognize 29 girls for achieving this top honor at a reception on June 6 from 2 – 5 p.m. at the Doubletree Hotel in Tampa.
Today, we are putting a spotlight on three award recipients passionate about the preserving the environment. They each identified an environmental issue and found a way to take action and bring awareness to their cause. These future leaders truly live up to the Girl Scout mission and are actively making the world a better place.
Spring into Action
For her project, Spring into Action, Kaitlin G. addressed the issue of preserving and protecting Florida springs and their underlying lifeblood, the aquifer, from being destroyed or irreversibly altered by over-pumping and pollution. To bring awareness of this critical environmental issue, Kaitlin created a class for elementary school aged children at Crystal Springs Preserve.
She targeted the class to children because she believes if children are made aware of this urgent issue and ways to prevent further destruction, they will take action by passing the information on others in the community. The Crystal Springs Preserve will continue to offer her class by request and it will be presented by student interns.
“Even though preserving the springs and aquifer system in Florida may appear to be a local problem, misuse and abuse of limited natural resources reaches far beyond. Children who learn early to guard and protect the environment tend to carry these lessons with them throughout their lives,” shared Kaitlin.
Kaitlin, 18, a graduate of Zephyrhills High School, is currently attending the University of South Florida majoring in music performance.
Batty for Bats
Kathryn J., an environmentally conscious Girl Scout with a love for nature, set out to increase the bat population for her project, Batty for Bats.
“When thinking of ideas I thought of my teachers and my Girl Scout leaders and they always taught me to help with the environment,” said Kathryn.
During her project, Kathryn received help from Florida Bat Conservation, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conversation, and St. Paul Lutheran. Kathryn increased community awareness by running a workshop on building bat houses and developed a curriculum to educate third grade students. The bat houses were installed throughout the community with hopes to increase the local bat population.
“I was inspired to do this project through my love of nature, even parts that nobody else appreciates,” shared Kathryn
Kathryn, 16, is a student at Strawberry Crest High School. She has been a Girl Scout for 12 years and is part of the Sunburst Community in Thonotosassa.
Celebration of Trees
Rachel K.’s passion for the preserving the environment inspired the Celebration of Trees project. To increase public awareness, she made a series of science based presentations to sixth grade students at Pinellas Preparatory Academy on the topics of basic introduction to environmental sustainability, impact of trees, growing trees and forests, Florida trees, and State and National Parks. She produced an introduction video explaining her project and converted her presentations into videos and shared them on YouTube to reach a larger audience. Rachel took action for her cause by planting a red cedar tree in Helen Howarth Park in Pinellas Park.
“The Earth is our home and we should do everything we can to protect and preserve it for not only ourselves, but for future generations,” expressed Rachel.
Rachel, 17, has been a Girl Scout for 6 years and is from the Split Pines Community. She is a graduating senior from Largo High School and aspires to become a nurse.
Interested in earning your own Gold Award? Learn more.