The Gold Award, the highest award a Senior or Ambassador Girl Scout can earn, is no easy feat. As any Gold Award Girl Scout knows, the project requires hours upon hours of time, plenty of resources and community outreach, and a lot of heart.
Now, after months of thinking up big ideas, planning them out, and following through, it is time to celebrate the amazing achievements of our Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana (GCNWI) Gold Award Class of 2020!
This week, we are featuring girls whose projects focused on animal rights, public safety, and sports. Read on to learn all about these impressive girls and their projects.
Power to the Bees
Mason Bees, like the other 4,000 bee species native to North America, are small but mighty creatures that are critically endangered. Girl Scout Shannon from Barlett, IL, for her Gold Award, decided to bring more awareness to the movement toward saving bees from extinction by bringing “Power to the Bees.”
She created a home for bees at the Willowbrook Wildlife Center, and has plans to build another with a display board inside their main building with more information on Mason Bees.
Cage Free Cat Room
In partnership with the People’s Animal Welfare Society of Tinley Park, Gold Award Girl Scout Alicia from Wheaton, IL, created a cage-free cat room. “A cage-free cat room creates a comfortable environment for the cats,” Alicia explained, “and leads to a greater chance of being adopted.”
She built and installed five shelves and cubbies for the kitties to climb on and sleep in, and her project helped those cats and many more find forever homes!
Pantry for Pets
Girl Scout Eileen saw the need for pet supplies in her community of Park Ridge, IL, and in response, crafted her Gold Award plan to fill that gap.
For “Pantry for Pets,” Eileen collected over 500 donations from different collection sites and donated them to a food pantry, eventually serving over 100 people! Eileen then donated the rest of the supplies to a few different animal shelters.
Picture Perfect Adoption
Combining her passion for photography and her love for animals, Girl Scout Marley teamed up with the Naperville Area Humane Society. Marley photographed over 130 pets over a seven-month span, edited the photos, created profile sheets, and shared those photos on social media to help the pups and cats get adopted in loving homes!
She STILL goes every week and takes pictures of the pets, and all 5 “veteran” dogs that had been at the shelter for a year or more were adopted!
Redecorating the Meeting Room!
Girl Scout Sophia from Lockport, IL, in hopes of getting more dogs adopted from the All Herding Breed Dog Rescue, decided to dedicate her Gold Award to refurbishing their meeting room.
She got to work, repainting the walls with a mural of a dog park and adding vinyl flooring, making the room cleaner and more welcoming, a great way to support the shelter and spread awareness for rescue and herding dogs.
Ga-ga Ball Pit
For her Gold Award, Girl Scout Katrina decided to design AND build a Ga-ga ball pit for a park in the Village of Antioch, IL.
Gaga Ball is a fast-paced high energy game played in an octagonal pit, similar to dodgeball, but you need a little more skill. She built the pits in hopes of benefitting the village’s preschool and summer camps. She also hopes it will increase the park’s future usage!
Girl Scout Amanda’s Gold Award “Woof@Wicker” consisted of a one-two punch: a campaign to raise funds for new equipment at the Wicker Memorial Dog Park in Highland, IN, and an educational component to teach youth about responsible pet ownership!
Amanda, after welcoming her community to a ribbon-cutting ceremony to introduce the new park equipment, presented her knowledge on pet care to a large group of youth in the area.
The Equestrian Connection
Girl Scout Emma, from Lake Bluff, IL, after seeing the need for the therapy barn at Equestrian Connection to have outdoor activities, combined her passion for horse riding and helping people with special needs.
After researching and planning hands-on sensory activities for therapy riders on horseback, she installed four multi-sensory outdoor games. Equestrian Connection serves riders from more than 70 cities throughout Illinois, Wisconsin, and several surrounding states, so her games are sure to add fun and learning for riders for years to come!
Flight from Threatened Livelihood
Girl Scout Nicole, from Palatine, IL, transformed her Gold Award vision into a reality by building a Monarch Waystation to support one of the world’s greatest natural wonders: the annual migration of Monarch butterflies.
The garden she constructed provides the nourishment necessary to help sustain the migration, with 14 different host and nectar plants that also bring benefits to the surrounding preserve. Her project also included an informational booth on the site of the Barrington Area Conservation Trust.
Bike Helmet Safety for Adults & Kids
Girl Scout Jessica, from Oak Park, IL, has always worn a helmet, but when she learned that not everyone in her community has the same habit, she decided to dedicate her Gold Award to spreading awareness about bike safety.
After surveying 169 adults and students in her area, she partnered with a bike shop and two police organizations and attended two local community events, presenting a pledge for everyone to sign.
Going, Going, Gold!
Girl Scout Seniors and Ambassadors who set out to earn the Gold Award take community service to the next level—tackling issues that are dear to them and driving meaningful and lasting change in their communitiesand beyond.
We extend our sincerest congratulations to these girls and all Gold Award Girl Scouts this year! Want to share pictures of your project with us? Post on social media and use the #GCNWIGoldAward! You can also download these images to share your Girl Scout Gold Award pride.
Stay tuned for next week’s 2020 Gold Award Spotlight!