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Rebecca Pober Citrin earned her Gold Award by creating a documentary on human trafficking in the United States. This outstanding Take Action Project was recognized by Girl Scouts of the USA when Rebecca was honored as one of ten 2015 National Young Women of Distinction.


This honor is given to Girl Scout Seniors and Ambassadors whose Gold Award projects demonstrated extraordinary leadership, had a measurable and sustainable impact, and addressed a local challenge related to a national and/or global issue. 


Rebecca produced, filmed, edited, and narrated a documentary on domestic human sex trafficking called "Project P.A.T.H.--People Against Trafficking of Humans" that the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) now uses for training purposes. In order to make the documentary, she conducted research with the FBI and local law enforcement, interviewed victims, their families, and elected officials, and secured sponsorship to cover costs. She also created a documentary website that included information about human trafficking and helplines for victims. Once the documentary was completed, Rebecca traveled throughout our region to build awareness of and spread the message about human sex trafficking.


The short video below is a presentation by Rebecca about her Gold Award Take Action project at the National Young Women of Distinction presentation in New York on October 17, 2015.



To learn more about Rebecca about her Gold Award process and the challenges she faced, please read this interview with Rebecca.

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I want to tell you about one of our latest Girl Scout adventures. We spent the day at Camp Butter and Egg in Troy, Alabama. 

There we were able to go zip lining, play laser tag, climb a rock wall, and do an obstacle course in the trees. The tree obstacle course was a little scary, but all of the girls encouraged each other to be brave.We also wore harnesses. 

When we played  laser tag, we were split into teams by our different troops. We worked together to defeat Team Red by hiding behind obstacles including an old helicopter. 

The rock wall was very high, and there was a bell that you could ring when you reached the top. I was finally able to ring after several tries and hard work. My favorite activity that we did was the zip lining. We zip lined through the trees and even over the water. It was so much fun! 

-- Press Rep Patricia
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Hi my name is Patricia and I'm a member of Troop 9195 in Dothan. 

I want to tell you about the wonderful time I had at the George Washington Carver Museum this past weekend. he museum is located in downtown Dothan, and honors George Washington Carver and other African Americans who have a made a difference in our country. 

One of my favorite activities was choosing a person featured in the museum to talk about. I choose Dr. Patricia Bath, who was the first female black doctor to get a patent for a laser that works on the eye. I thought it was cool that both of our names is Patricia. Next, we got to do a time line worksheet. Whoever finished their time line first got a t-shirt. Even though I did not win it was fun. 

We also got to a new exhibit with 100 inventions that George Washington Carver made with peanuts. Another cool thing is that the museum was once a bus stop. It was a great learning experience. If you are ever in Dothan, check it out!

Patricia  

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Morgan's project involved making bereavement gowns for a local hospital and creating a sustainable process to provide gowns on an ongoing basis. 

Morgan has been a Girl Scout since fourth grade, and credits activities with her troop for introducing her to many new experiences. She will graduate from Spanish Fort High School in 2016 and plans to major in Library and Information Sciences at Southern Miss. Her parents are Ricky and Amy Mitchell. 

Please give an overview of your Gold Award Project and the steps you took to complete it.

My program, Delicate Embrace Angel Gowns, provides bereavement gowns made from recycled wedding dresses to infants that do not make it out of the hospital. 

Often, there is nothing small enough to fit these tiny babies except for a washcloth or a hospital gown. Through providing parents with this small gift, I wanted to show them that their baby's life was important to and acknowledged by others. No child deserves to die so early, and no parent should have to go through losing his or her baby.

How did you come up with your idea?  
After hearing about a similar program in Houston, Texas, I did a little research and discovered that there was nothing like this in my community. The idea of making these little angel gowns seemed like a really special project, and it is a subject that is close to my heart since I was born with birth defects myself, and I know that not every baby is born healthy.

Were you intimidated by the scale of the project?
I think the Gold Award is meant to be intimidating; it's supposed to push a girl scout to do her very best to help her community and it's supposed to teach her about herself along the way. So yes, I was intimidated, not only in the beginning but as I was orchestrating the whole project as well. It is a daunting task to undertake; however, it is completely worth it to know that you stuck with it and made a big impact in your community.

 How did you keep up the momentum for the project? 
Making plans and sticking to them is a great way to make sure that something gets done. It is certainly challenging to juggle the workload of senior year, college applications, and a Gold Award, but I was motivated to complete this project because I wanted to see these finished gowns at the hospitals so they could help mourning parents.

Were you ever discouraged? If so, what did you do to overcome that?
Whenever I was faced with a problem, I knew I had to fix it to be able to complete the project. While I did become discouraged, I knew I could not let any obstacle deter me from my goal of making a positive impact on the community. It helped to know that other girls were experiencing this daunting task and having trouble as well because it let me know that I was not alone. 

Can you tell us a little story about some part of your project that was special to you
When I delivered my first set of gowns to USA Women's and Children's Hospital, the NICU supervisor gave me a tour of the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, and it was so interesting (and sad) to learn about this unit. They care for around 75 babies a day, and sometimes there are 100 babies to care for. USA has the only NICU in the area and they have the technology to help babies as small as two pounds gain enough strength to brave the world. They lose about twenty-four babies a year. These facts lit a fire in me to double my efforts because I could see that what I was doing was needed.

How will people benefit from this?
Parents will always miss the child they should have had, but I hope the knowledge that someone cared about them and their loss will at least ease their pain a little. They will get to say their final goodbyes to a baby dressed in this delicate embrace rather than the hospital gown provided, and that is something that will stay with them forever.

How did you feel after you finished?
Because I have never been very outgoing, seeing all that I had accomplished made me feel proud of myself. I became more of a leader throughout this project after all of the planning, meetings, and presentations. I also felt relieved that the paperwork was behind me, but I was also excited for what the future held because I know I will try to stay connected with this program.

What advice would you give to other girls considering a Gold Award?
I think the most important advice I can give is to keep a notebook that contains dates of when you worked on the project and updates on the progress. When it comes time for the final paperwork, a notebook like this will be immensely beneficial. I kept a detailed account of dates, notes, ideas, and scribbles, and I am glad I did. Not only was it great for paperwork, it is a wonderful keepsake that will remind me of the things I did during my project.

Also, if you are ever feeling overwhelmed or discouraged, just know that it is completely okay and normal. A Gold Award requires a lot of time and effort, and it is not a simple task. I actually had to take a break for a few months because of AP classes, band, and other service clubs, but I eventually jumped right back into the project with enthusiasm, and I am thrilled that I did. You are not alone in embarking on this intimidating journey. Just know that it will get easier once you adjust, and you will be grateful for the experience as it instills in you valuable skills and, of course, makes the world a better place.

Your Gold Project made a change for the better in your community.  Did it change you?
This project has built my leadership skills, and I am more confident speaking in front of a crowd. My newfound confidence was put to the test when I had to give a speech for the new Mu Alpha Theta inductees as President of the honor society. Any project, whether it is for high school or college, will not seem as daunting after all of the details and planning that was required for the Gold Award. I will take away a love for helping others and a desire to make a difference in the future.

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First of all, the Girl Scout Promise means honor to me that you are promising to respect other people, and to show the respect to things in life and for God. I show honor by going to church, help people when they need it, and much more, and it is important for every Girl Scout is to live by the Girl Scout Law!

The Girl Scout Law means to me is that every Girl Scout should do their best to be honest and fair because if you don't you will be breaking the Girl Scout law. A way to be honest and fair is to be a good sport and to be honest and truthful about things. Another way is to be friendly and helpful! I like to be friendly and helpful by helping my friends with home work and have a good relationship with them.

Also, you should be considerate and caring. One way to be considerate is to help someone that is unable to do certain things like my friend's mom is blind so I help lead the way to the car.  Caring is similar to being considerate but it's not the same thing. I like to pray or think about someone that's sick or making someone a happy birthday card on their birthday. There are so many ways you can help people.

To be courageous and strong is one of my favorite things to learn about in Girl Scouts. I have helped a friend of mine before who people were being mean to and that made me feel courageous! To be strong is to stick up for someone that is being bullied or sticking up for yourself.

To be responsible for what you say and do is if you clean up a mess you made or do what you say you will do.   I respect myself by taking care of myself and I like to respect others by listening to what they're saying and being nice and generous.

Respect authority is to obey your parent and adults when they're talking to you.   My mom always reminds me to thank adults for what they do for me and that makes them smile!

As Press Rep this year, I will be able to report on what my troop is doing to earn our Get Moving badge for using resources wisely and show other Scouts how to make the world a better place and to be a sister to every Girl Scout!

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Hello, my name is Tamatha and I'm here to tell you what a wonderful day I had. 

We went to Botanical Gardens in Dothan with the Girl Scouts. There were 8 troops and 75 girls who attended. We played 3 games, one was where you had to toss plastic pumpkins into a bin. Then there was another game where you had to roll the tennis ball at the tin cans and no matter if you won or not you got candy or a prize. The last game was like a ring toss game. 

Another really fun thing was you could decorate a cupcake. You could put candy, or icing, or frosting, or you could choose all of those. I chose a chocolate cupcake with chocolate frosting. After that you could have your face painted. My friend Kaitlyn and I both got minions painted on our faces. 

Then the really fun craft we made was bookmarks. The materials used were paperclips and ribbons. You had to put the ribbon through the paperclip and tie it like you were tying your shoe, and then you had a bookmark. The last but not least was our scavenger hunt. We had 34 riddles and we had to find the scarecrow that matches the riddle and your troop leader would check if you were right.

Now that was my fun day at Botanical Gardens, What about you?

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My Girl Scout troop, Troop 9327, recently had second graders join us.  We are enjoying having Cadettes and Brownies.  

The Cadettes are earning our Leadership In Action Award by helping the Brownies earn their WOW Journey.  As part of the Journey, our troop went the Lanark Nature Center in Millbrook.  The Nature Center has a new Discovery Center and a new program in which you can spend half a day or a whole day with a naturalist learning about different aspects of nature.  We explored the Discovery Center and went on a creek hike with a naturalist and learned about stream ecology, Cypress trees, and wildlife that lives in or around streams. We had a great time.

 -- submitted by Press Rep Claire

Girl Scouts has released their latest Destinations trips.  What are Destinations? They are amazing experiences for individual Girl Scouts to travel, both domestically and abroad, with other Girl Scouts.  Girls make friends from all over the country, see new places and cultures, and practice their leadership skills.  You can find out more about upcoming Destinations at http://forgirls.girlscouts.org/travel/take-a-trip/destinations/.

Below, our own Beth Prior went on a Destination to the Andes!  Here she is with Machu Picchu in the background, riding a mule, visiting a open air market, and with all her sister Girl Scouts on this trip.

Beth says she loved the opportunity to sample local cuisine and appreciated the "emergency mule" for when hikers got tired. She told us that even though she just recently returned from her trip to Peru, she misses it already!
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SU 708 Juliettes Taylor and Lauren love animals, so they wanted their Silver Award project to reflect their affection for dogs and cats. They met with the Lee County Humane Society (LCHS) to determine which of the Society's needs they could meet through their Silver Award project.  They decided to create equipment for a dog agility course to use in playtime and training.

They scoured the internet to find ideas and plans for equipment they could create on a limited budget.  Then they worked with Home Depot employees to learn the skills they needed to create the equipment, earning their Woodworking badge in the process.  

The Juliettes also conducted a supply drive for the dogs and cats at the LCHS with the assistance of their local Petco.

The girls reported that they improved their communication skills and learned tool safety, all while helping the animals of Lee County.  Very impressive, Lauren and Taylor! 
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Beth Prior's Take Action Project educated the public and faculty at Auburn University about the health of local waterways, focusing on Parkerson Mill Creek.  In addition to her Gold Award, Beth's project earned her a $500 Earth Day Award from the National Society of High School Scholars.  She was one of 10 recipients of the award, out of a field of 315 applicants.

Beth has been a Girl Scout since kindergarten, and has earned her Bronze and Silver Awards.  She has traveled to Peru on an international Girl Scout destinations trip.  

She recently graduated from Auburn High School and has enrolled at Auburn University, majoring in civil engineering.  Her parents are Judy and Stephen Prior of Auburn.

Please give an overview of your Gold Award Project and the steps you took to complete it.

My Gold Award project focused on bringing awareness to the public and Auburn University about the issues of Parkerson Mill Creek: high fecal counts, erosion and litter.  With the help of Alabama Water Watch, I evaluated erosion and bacteria at six different sites.  I also presented my findings to Auburn University's Facilities Department in a report and in Google Earth.  I set up informational tables at three major events in my town in order to reach the public.

 

How did you come up with your idea?  

I had seen several newspaper articles and online articles about Parkerson Mill Creek.

 

Were you intimidated by the scale of the project? 

 Yes, at first.  But, once I explained what I needed for the project to my project advisor, she helped me write a plan of tasks and objectives.  That helped a lot.

 

 How did you keep up the momentum for the project? 

 I like to finish anything that I start.  Plus, it was a race against time since the deadline was September of 2015.

 

Were you ever discouraged? If so, what did you do to overcome that?

Sometimes when I made a to-do list for the project, I would feel overwhelmed.  I just kept working.  That is the only way to make the list smaller.

 

Can you tell us a little story about some part of your project that was special to you?

Probably the hardest part of the project was organizing the pictures to the right GPS coordinates for the Google Earth virtual map.  One time the GPS coordinates were all wrong because I forgot to refresh the GPS.  I had to go back out and redo all of the GPS coordinates.

 

How will people benefit from this?

 Hopefully, my project will educate the citizens of Auburn on their local waterways.  Mostly everyone thinks that Parkerson Mill Creek is just a drainage ditch.  Many people do not realize that there are fish, turtles and other creatures that live in it.

 

How did you feel after you finished?

I felt like I still had to do something else.

 

What advice would you give to other girls considering a Gold Award?

Explain everything to your project advisor and then make an organized and detailed plan.

 

Your Gold Project made a change for the better in your community.  Did it change you?  

My project definitely exposed me to a different side of civil engineering (I plan to major in civil engineering).  I got to explore the more environmental side of civil engineering.  Maybe I will do something with erosion and water quality in the future.

 

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