Earning a Gold Award is not easy -- but the rewards, for yourself, your community, and your future are worth the effort.
We ask Gold Awardees to give other Girl Scouts who are considering a Gold Award Project a realistic idea of what is involved. Below, Stephanie Schisler tells us about the challenges and rewards she encountered while implementing her project.
How did you
come up with your idea?
first, I looked around the downtown, comparing it with other downtowns, trying
to find something our downtown didn't have that those other downtowns did have.
I was going to do a sprinkler playground for kids, but when I examined the cost
and possibility of this project being completed in my projected time, I
realized it wasn't feasible. It wasn't until I started examining the smaller
communities around my school 'til I found a project worth working on - The Dale
County Christian School Library.
intimidated by the scale of this project?
first, no, I wasn't. But, it wasn't until I started getting into the main part
of the project when I started wondering what I had gotten myself into.
How did you
keep up the momentum for the project
until the time I started getting distraught about my project, I really didn't
have a hard time keeping up, because it was mainly taking books off shelves,
writing letters, etc. When the book organizing, labeling, cataloging, and
shelving came into play, I really didn't know what to do except "keep
Were you ever
discouraged? If so, what did you do to overcome that?
once or twice I got discouraged. The book sorting, cataloging, and shelving
really got me. Things were set back several times because something was done
wrong. When shelving, I thought the books were never going to end because there
were so many.
I just kept thinking that
there were only a few more books left to put up before I was done. That and
that the project was almost done.
Can you tell
us a story about some part of your project that was special to you?
during the portion of the project when I was shelving all the books. Many
people were so enthusiastic about the library that they kept donating boxes of
books. I would get pretty far shelving them and a new box of books were
donated. So, I had to move books down - shelves at a time - so that I would
have more room on the shelves for the new books. This happened several times
during my project.
How will people benefit from this?
Fewer detentions from lateness of books should be
handed out at school.
will have higher grades.
and teachers will have a better time checking out books in the library.
going to Ewell Bible Baptist Church will have an extra source of information.
the source of knowledge. Students will gain that knowledge provided by those
How did you
feel after you finished?
In a word,
relieved. I know that I won't have to go back there and spend all day every day
putting up books or something.
would you give to other girls considering a Gold Award?
give up. Be relentless in your project. It's worth it in the end." My
mottos for the project were "The harder it gets, the closer you are to
finishing it." and "Just keep swimming!" - Dory from Finding Nemo
Project made a change for the better in your community. What will you take away from this project?
change me? I'm going to have to say yes. This project made a big impact not
only in other's lives but also in mine. I am a little bit of a 'in charge' type
of person. This project made me realize that not everyone likes to be followers
and be told what to do. In rare moments during this project, I was taken out of
my leadership position and put in a follower's place. It felt different and was
an eye-opener on how others view things, giving me not only the leadership
point-of-view but also the follower's perspective of things causing me to have
better judgment on telling people how to do things.
I definitely learned new skills.
Library cataloging is more difficult than it looks but at the same time easy.
You have to order the books on the shelves by last name of the author. After
you do that, you have to add them all in to the computer system. Once you have
them on the system, next comes the easy part. You find all the barcode labels
for all the books. For those books that don't have barcode labels or even ISBN
(International Standard Book Number) codes, you make one for that specific book
using a ISBN generator. Then, You print off the barcode stickers, find the
corresponding book, put the label on the inside of the front cover.
Organization and time management are skills that I brushed up on while I was
working on this project. Those were used countless times.
What will I take away from this
experience? All of the above plus some others. Determination is one. When I go
into a book store, much less a library, I have to struggle to stop myself from
looking at every last book in there and getting ten of them. Throughout this
project, I had to stop myself countless times from reading a book when I'm
supposed to be doing something totally different. Another is the desire to
volunteer again. I am really happy knowing all my hard work I put into the
library will not go to waste. The students will use it. The teachers will use
it. Church youth will use it. Everybody benefits.