Huntir Bass is our latest Gold Award Recipient. Huntir has been a Girl Scout since third grade, and her Gold Award focused on assisting veterans. Huntir is a senior at Baker High School in Mobile, and her proud parents are George and Erica Bass. We asked Huntir questions about her Gold Award process to give other Girl Scouts an idea of what goes into earning their Gold Award.
Please give an overview of your Gold Award Project and the steps you took to complete it.
For my Gold Award project, I started a local chapter of Team Red White Blue which is a nationwide organization that helps veterans. After getting approval from the Gold Award committee, I started my project by meeting with my Project Advisor, the national Team Red White Blue Southeast chair, veteran and running groups. I started the Team RWB Mobile facebook page. I went to area runs, health expos, and veteran groups to get the word out about our group. I established our Chapter Leadership team that met monthly. We had weekly runs, monthly work outs and social events for chapter members. I went out and found sponsors for our first annual Gold and Glory 5K Run/Walk. With the help of Girl Scout Troops 8587, 8263, 8268, 8363, 8459, we held our run on November 8, 2014. We had 42 runners participate. It was a great morning. Team RWB Mobile currently has 44 members who live in the Gulf Coast from Mobile to Pensacola. Team RWB Mobile continues to strive to enrich the lives of America's veterans by connecting them to their community through physical and social activity.
How did you come up with your idea?
Being from a military family, naturally I thought of giving back to those who give everything, our veterans. My community doesn't have a strong outlet for our local veterans to connect with each other. I thought of starting a chapter of team RWB after being a part of the chapter in Fort Walton, FL. After seeing how successful it was, I thought it would be perfect to start one on the Gulf Coast.
Were you intimidated by the scale of the project?
Of course! To have such an honor as earning my gold award, I knew I had a large task ahead of me, but with the courage and support I had, it was conquerable.
How did you keep up the momentum for the project?
At each weekly run or event we went to and I was able to meet and get to know some awesome veterans which gave me the inspiration to continue. Plus each day I knew I was closer to finishing my project. Don't get me wrong, the process was fun, stressful, but definitely an exciting experience. I wanted to be done, so I could look back and appreciate everything as a whole.
Were you ever discouraged? If so, what did you do to overcome that?
Yes, I was. With every journey, there are bumps in the road. But how we deal with the bumps builds who we are. It was all mental toughness. I had to continuously think "I've gotten this far. I can't turn back now. Push ahead and think of who you are helping."
Can you tell us a little story about some part of your project that was special to you?
My favorite part was at the end of my 5k run. Each run/walk finishers put an American flag on the head stone of a fallen solider at Mobile Memorial Gardens where the run was held.
How will people benefit from this?
Our local veterans will be able to connect with each other. As well as the community will get an inside look at the daily lives of our veterans.
How did you feel after you finished?
What advice would you give to other girls considering a Gold Award?
You have to make sure it's something that is close to you and that you truly believe in because if not you could be easily overwhelmed by the workload especially if you didn't like what you were doing. You have to be able to draw from within to get you through.
Your Gold Project made a change for the better in your community. Did it change you?
Yes, this did change me. I matured as a young woman from doing this project. I am more confident in my abilities and more willing to ask for help. The thing most that I will take away from this is I can do anything I set my mind to.
Please give us a brief outline of your Girl Scout history and your future plans.
I started Girl Scouts in the 3rd grade as a Brownie. My mom was and still is my troop leader. I remember going into the Girl Scout shop when we first started the troop. I remember looking at all of little patches in the filing cabinets in the shop. Ms. Brenda, the shop manager at the time, came in and I asked "how do I get these?" She showed me the Brownie Try-It book. I, of course, had to get the book. I went home and told my mom "I am going to earn every patch in the book and every one I can earn in Girl Scouts". Now as I start my tenth year as a Girl Scout, I have continued that passion to do and be all I can be as a Girl Scout. After graduation next spring, I plan on attending college where I can play volleyball and get my education in Applied Mathematics/Actuarial Science. I will forever be grateful for the lessons and memories I have from the years as a Girl Scout.