We had a wonderful time celebrating those Girl Scouts who earned Bronze, Silver, or Gold awards this past year. Since it was the 100th anniversary of those awards, our staff planned two wonderful recognition events.
The first event was held in Mobile. Gigi Baroco, our council archivist, put together a wonderful display of requirements for the various awards and some great uniforms. It was amazing how captivating the displays are for girls earning awards.
At that event the girls receiving their Gold Awards were Huntir Bass, whose project, Team Red, White and Blue, was to present a Gold and Glory 5K Run/Walk to benefit veterans. Amerie Gramelspacher focused on Suicide Prevention and Awareness for her high school by doing a number of activities to heighten awareness of prevention possibilities. Abigail Legge's project, the Buddy System, matched high school tutors with elementary school children in need of tutors to improve Math and English skills, as well as serve as role models. Morgan Mitchell's project, Delicate Embrace Angel Gowns, took donated wedding dresses and remade them into bereavement gowns for children who do not make it out of the hospital. Nicole Nobles did Barks for Books, where students at Spanish Fort Elementary School read to Hoss the dog, an excellent nonjudgmental listener. Jeralynn Servos' project, Give a Book, Build a Future was creating a reading corner at the Prodisee Pantry where children can be read to while their parents are shopping at the food pantry. When they are done, a book can be taken with the child.
Some of the recipients elected to speak, thanking those in the audience for their support. Receiving these awards is not only about what the girl achieved, but it is done with the assistance of others.
The second event was held in Montgomery a week later. This one featured Lt. Col. Keisha Douglass as the speaker. Lt. Col. Douglass is the battalion commander for the U.S. Army Recruiting Command for the same area of GSSA's footprint. Her remarks were to "be your best self. You can accomplish anything." Part of her point was that you can accomplish anything, but it is important to have mentors and a support system. Lt. Col. Douglass enlisted in the Army as soon as she graduated from high school as a private. After 10 years serving in the Army, her superiors suggested she attend Officer Candidate School. This was not what she had wanted, but with much encouragement she did and has completed three degrees and continued to move up in the U.S. Army. She was such a hit that she was mobbed after the event for autographs and photos.
The Gold Awards in Montgomery included Abby Campbell, who, through her project Baby Showers for Women's Hope, solicited needed items from the Auburn community to give to single mothers who live in poverty, to help them to provide a safe and nurturing environment for their children. Elizabeth Prior's project, Parkerson Mill Creek Awareness Campaign and Restoration, focused on identifying Parkerson Mill Creek and working with the City of Auburn and Auburn University to recognize where dumping into the creek went and its ramifications. Lucy Puranen did Operation Treble Clef, where middle school band participants are paired with high school band participants to encourage retention of band members.
Thanks to Jeannie Napper, Karen Edmondson, and Melinda Stallworth for their work on making these events a success.
Both of these events were well received and highlight that you should never under-estimate what a girl can do. All these projects were simply amazing. We are very proud of all our award recipients.