Earning the Gold Award, Girl Scout’s highest honor, is no easy task. The Gold Award recognizes girls who have demonstrated extraordinary leadership by organizing a service project that has a sustainable impact in the larger community.
These projects generally take one to two years to complete, with the Girl Scout undertaking all aspects of the project, which reflects her own interests and talents.
Only about 5 percent of all Girl Scouts are ever awarded the Gold Award, and seven young ladies from our community, Sophie Daniels, Kate Donelan, Maria Eberhart, Lucy Hughes, Gretchen Kresslein, Olivia Robinson and Emma Shannon, recently achieved this high honor.
All seniors at Dulaney High School, these Girl Scouts represented three troops and most of the girls have been in scouting for well over a decade. Congratulations to each of the Girl Scouts on a very special achievement!
Representing Troop 1684, Kate Donelan and Gretchen Kresslein have been scouting together since their early days at Padonia Elementary and under the guidance of troop leaders Kristi Kresslein and Beverly Weller.
Kate chose to base her project back at Padonia Elementary, where she started the after-school Bamboo’s Book Club. The students read and discussed books and then wrote reviews for the school newspaper.
Gretchen’s project, Beads of Courage, emphasized the correlation between chronic illness and depression, with the program encouraging children to talk about their illnesses and express their feelings. She created and donated program bags to Johns Hopkins Children’s Center and produced videos to educate school psychologists and nurses in Baltimore County.
Cris Sanchez and Jamie Perry are the leaders of Troop 4407 and were advisers to Maria Eberhart, Lucy Hughes, Olivia Robinson and Emma Shannon, who got their start in scouting at Riderwood Elementary.
Maria centered her project on empowering loved ones of opioid abusers. She organized an informational meeting with guest speakers who provided information on treatment and resources for families, including Naloxone training for overdoses.
Lucy’s project, For The Love of Lacrosse, involved a donation drive for new and used lacrosse sticks to benefit the Charm City Youth Lacrosse program. She also organized a volunteer day with the program involving the Dulaney women’s lacrosse teams and coaches.
Olivia organized a Mexico Learning Day to educate the community about the culture and people of Mexico. She also collected toiletries and other small items at the Learning Day enabling her to send more than 50 boxes of donations to Cuirim, a Christian outreach in Nogales, Mexico, which she has visited for the past several years.
The centerpiece of Emma’s project was music, as she created and taught an eight-week, after-school class on multicultural music to students at Riderwood Elementary. She exposed the children to the cultures of other countries through music, games and other activities, and she wrote and shared a curriculum so that it could be taught by other volunteers in the future.
Sophie, representing Troop 990 with the guidance of leader Allison Warfield Daniels, built a Water Bottle Playhouse at Oregon Ridge Nature Center. Sophie designed and constructed the playhouse, made from recycled water bottles, to raised awareness of the ecological damage caused by plastic bottles.
It also provided an example of how plastic bottles can be reused to benefit the community in a new way and, at the same time, reduce their harmful environmental impact.