This year we will be celebrating the Girl Scout Leadership Experience at the annual meeting. The scheduling of this meeting is always a challenge. The annual meeting is set on the same weekend each year, but the date of Easter changes. Between Easter and the different spring breaks on school calendars across our council, we can never find the perfect weekend for everyone. With that said, we will still celebrate what we are about: GIRLS!
GIRLS are simply amazing. And GSSA girls are REALLY amazing. We have a robotics team that, despite being a new group, has done well at competitions. We have girls who go out in the woods on a regular basis and learn skills they will use for a lifetime. We have lots of girls who sold lots of cookies this year. Some who didn't speak up before can now confidently approach strangers with a sales pitch -- a young budding entrepreneur.
Many of our girls drop out of Girl Scouts at age 11. And what experiences they miss by doing so! Those girls who do continue the Girl Scout Leadership Experience become exceptional individuals. They are skilled in many life skills. Of those who continue, we award 90 Bronze Awards each year. This is usually earned by troops who do great projects. We have about 40 girls earn the Silver Award each year. And last, but certainly not least, this past year we have seven girls who have earned the Gold Award.
We thought we would highlight the young women who have earned the Gold Award and who will be presented their award at the annual meeting at Wehle Conservation Center on March 29.
Elizabeth Schloss is from Prattville. She is finishing her freshman year at Auburn, where she plays xylophone in the band. For her Gold Award project, Elizabeth set up tutoring sessions for Hispanic kids. She involved her Beta club at school and held sessions at a local church after Spanish mass. Elizabeth said one of the most successful aspects for her was that the parents started coming with their kids, so she ended up with adults being tutored as well as kids. Also, a principal at a local elementary school heard about her project and asked her to come and do after school tutoring at the elementary school.
Adrienne Spivey is from Montgomery, where she is a senior at Montgomery Catholic Preparatory School. Adrienne's Gold Award project involved educating children about Alzheimer's disease. She created and produced a video to help children understand changes they may see in their elderly relatives and feel more confident interacting with them. Adrienne has these words for girls who are thinking about going for the Gold Award: "Taking on a serious Girl Scout project could seem impossible. Think about the difference you will make by doing it, though. Think about the lives you'll change. Think about how you'll be campaigning for something you not only believe in, but that you created. This project may seem overwhelming, and even be a bit challenging at times, but the outcome and the rewards are worth it all."
Ann Claire Carnahan is a senior at UMS-Wright in Mobile. Ann Claire worked with staff and volunteers at Keep Mobile Beautiful to create and promote a website for their organization. Keep Mobile Beautiful is a city of Mobile department that operates as a not-for-profit environmental organization and depends heavily on volunteers. Ann Claire designed and built a website, and used social media and presentations to bring awareness to the public about the services that Keep Mobile Beautiful offers. Ann Claire offers this advice to girls interested in going for the Gold: "I would advise girls to align themselves with a community organization that already has a need you can work towards fixing. Listening to the organization's needs gave me the framework I needed to construct an airtight, meaningful project."
These young women (and all the others who have earned awards this year) are outstanding examples of why we work hard, and why we celebrate girls.