Girls can do anything! Each year we have a group of girls that are highly accomplished and do amazing things. It is wonderful to see them grow over the years and watch them give back to their community through their award projects. We have a great group of girls that provide all types of community service through their awards.
A large number of Junior troops earned the Girl Scout Bronze Award during the past year, and many more are currently working on projects in their communities. Here are a few examples from across the council:
- · Daphne Troop 8186 is working on a permanent geocache course at Camp Scoutshire Woods for other girls to enjoy.
- · Troop 9349 from Enterprise helped the local animal shelter by painting some of the rooms and collecting needed items.
- · Troop 9261 in Ozark created an outdoor education garden at their school that included upcycling milk jugs into automatic watering containers, painting stepping stones, and leading a group of more than 50 students to plant a variety of plants.
- · Loxley Troop 8393 volunteered and collected items for a horse rescue shelter.
The Girl Scout Silver Award is earned by Cadettes and is a stepping stone for the Gold Award. Here are a few of our excellent projects from this past year:
- · Troop 9750 from Dothan recycled plastic grocery bags to make plastic yarn, which they crocheted to make sleeping mats for the homeless.
- · Troop 7309 worked with a low-income daycare in Auburn to improve the facilities and provide additional resources and activities for the children to enjoy.
- · A member of troop 9157 in Prattville sewed more than 70 colorful pillowcases to comfort children in an orphanage in Bulgaria.
- · Satsuma Troop 8517 created a "Read Across America" curriculum for their middle school library. They identified and compiled a list of books from all 50 states to encourage students to read.
The Girl Scout Gold Award is the highest award in Girl Scouting, and is only open to Seniors and Ambassadors. Here are two of our recent Gold Awards:
- · Rebecca Pober from Daphne produced, directed, edited and screened a professional documentary on domestic human trafficking, which can be seen on the website she created: againsthumantrafficking.com. In order to create her documentary, she made contacts, fundraised, conducted on and off-camera interviews. Afterwards, she has given and continues to give presentations to highlight this issue.
- · Amerie Gramelspacher's topic for her Girl Scout Gold Award was suicide awareness and prevention. She spoke at churches and events, conducted a suicide awareness and prevention 5K, purchased a curriculum for the health classes at her school, and purchased signs for the middle and high schools. Throughout the project, she partnered with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP). Thanks to Amerie's efforts, the elementary, middle, and high school teachers in Thomasville now receive annual suicide prevention and awareness training hosted by the AFSP.
Rebecca and Amerie have been nominated by our council for the National Young Women of Distinction (NYWOD) award, given by GSUSA to 10 exceptional Gold Award recipients from across the nation. GSUSA has done some great work to improve the highest awards. Rather than having the National Young Women of Distinction awarded every three years at the national convention, that will change to annually. In addition, a benefactor will be providing funding for a $10,000 scholarship for each NYWOD. Girls who have earned the Gold Award are eligible to be nominated for NYWOD by the Gold Award Committee of GSSA.
As a reminder, GSSA has a group of trained volunteers who work with girls on their Gold Awards. This committee reviews girls' applications and materials. Because it is a group of volunteers, we try hard to respect their time, which means paperwork needs to be submitted well in advance of deadlines so the committee has the time they need to conduct their review. The new working deadlines for 2015-2016 awards are as follows:
Quarterly deadlines for all Gold Award submissions
· February 1
· May 1
· August 1
· November 1
· February 1 deadline for proposals
· May 1 deadline for final reports
Girl Scouts of Southern Alabama is fortunate to have a great group of volunteers and girls committed to community service. Last year GSSA girls earned 112 Bronze Awards, 27 Silver Awards, and 6 Gold Awards, representing more than 4000 hours of service in their communities. Girls also earned 44 Service Bars for Community Service and Service to Girl Scouting, representing more than 1,400 hours of service.