The Gold Award is an achievement awarded to girls who face, head-on, challenges in their communities and the world at large, and provide creative, sustainable solutions. Each of these girls, who we’ve been featuring weekly on our blog, are incredible examples of enterprising, compassionate younger leaders.
Read on to meet more of these amazing girls from our council, who focused their efforts on the subjects of environmental activism, science, technology, engineering, the arts, and math (STEAM).
Cleaning our Beaches
Girl Scout Larissa loves going to the beach, and after researching and realizing how polluted our beaches really are, decided to take action to ensure these beaches remain healthy for future generations. Gold Award honoree Larissa organized four beach cleanups with her community in hopes of inspiring others to also advocate for the health of our environment.
Picnic Tables for the Library
“Our community library had outdoor areas that were rarely used because they didn’t have seating,” Gold Award Girl Scout Alexandria explained. “By providing seating for community members to use, they will be more likely to connect with nature.” To accomplish her goal, Alexandria gathered a team to build her community library an outdoor seating area, perfect for taking in the scenery and a good book.
Tech Addiction Terrors
Girl Scout India took note of the growing concern adults have over the time teenagers spend on their phones. Her hope, in creating her Gold Award initiative, was to impact teenagers and adults to be cognizant of their technology behaviors. To do so, India hosted community meetings where she presented information on the subject of tech addiction and introduced features on smartphones that set limits on daily use.
Let it Rain
To earn her Gold Award, Girl Scout Emily designed and implemented a rain garden at the Vernon Hills Arbor Theater, with the aims of addressing the issue of excess stormwater and declining populations of pollinators in her community. With the help of her volunteers, over 200 native plants were planted, and Emily additionally educated Girl Scouts in her area on the importance of rain gardens and runoff drainage.
Flower Power 2.0
Girl Scout Anna wanted to address the issue of environmental disregard and neglect in her community, and to accomplish this, Anna beautified and reestablished a community garden in need of attention, as well as installing a community compost bin. With her volunteer team of community members, Anna cleared weeds and overgrown plants to reveal plant beds for new flowers and vegetables to grow.
Sustainable Composting at Elawa
Girl Scout Emma earned her Gold Award for her sustainable composting initiative at Elawa Farm. Emma installed additional compost bins near the kitchen for increased composting, dibble boards for easier planting, and a washing board (shown above!) so produce can be washed faster, in hopes of improving the environmental efficiency of their overall operation.
Geocaching, a worldwide outdoor scavenger hunt game, is intended to create a fun outdoor experience for all the players. Girl Scout Taylor created her own geocaching series based on the six levels of Girl Scouting, and within each geocache is information about the specific environment in which it is placed. Since her geocaches have been activated, there have been more than 70 logs from different people who have found them!
“Our dietary choices affect our health and the sustainability of the environment,” Girl Scout Kaitlin said of the inspiration behind her Gold Award initiative. With the help of her school community, students, staff members, and administration, Kaitlin instituted Meatless Mondays into her school’s lunch menu. She also ran a booth at her school’s Health and Wellness fair to educate her peers on the benefits of meatless diets.
To address the issue of inequitable pollution in Chicago, Girl Scout Sophie used Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry (ICP-MS) to analyze the heavy metal concentrations of 26 honey samples in the Chicago area. With this information, Sophie demonstrated the correlation between industrial corridors in Chicago, the proximity of apiaries (beehive sanctuaries), and high concentrations of dangerous heavy metals.
Women in Food Engineering
Girl Scout Lara, in hopes of educating young girls in her community on the importance of pursuing careers in STEAM, hosted a food engineering workshop. “Snacks wouldn’t be possible without significant contributions from food engineers, from air humidity for transporting food to vacuum-sealed jars,” Lara explained, and each participant walked away with a packet of local STEAM opportunities to get involved in.
Girl Scouts Change the World
On Oct. 10, join us as we party with and learn from, the 2020 National Gold Award Girl Scouts, who don’t just change the world for the better, but for good. We can’t wait to meet this year’s honorees and celebrate their amazing accomplishments— don’t miss out!
Stay tuned for more exciting announcements coming soon!
Making Waves Every Day
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.
Look out for next week’s 2020 Gold Award Spotlight!