Celebrating Gold Award Winner Demi

I was privileged to be present when one of my Girl Scouts, Demi, was honored for earning her Gold Award. Less than one percent of all Girl Scouts earn this prestigious award.

Demi 4Demi and me at the Girl Scout Center in Houston.

A girl focused on earning her Gold Award must be a senior or ambassador which equates to a high school-aged student. She must complete two level appropriate journeys or one level appropriate journey if she earned her silver award as a cadette. Next, she needs to attend a Gold Award Orientation (though it does not have to be AFTER you finish your second journey). Finally, she must lead a project she designs herself with the help of a gold adviser.

Sounds easy, right? Why don’t ALL Girl Scouts earn it?

First of all, those journeys are no joke. The girls in our troop typically complete one journey per year (if they attend the meetings and events necessary to finish the requirements). We do ONE per year because that’s how long it takes. We’ve gotten it down to a weekend for our elementary girls for everything except the service project. For middle and high school girls (we call them older girls to make it easier), the journeys are hard core explorations of in depth themes relevant to girls. If you want more information, check out the Girl Scouts of America information on the program.

Demi 3Demi and her mom, Denise. Great job, Mom!!!

The Gold Award Orientation has a girl version AND a parent version. As much as this program is about the girls and for the girls, without parental support, it is all but impossible for these young people to succeed to the degree we encourage them to. Parents have to take them to meetings and events. They have to engage their daughter in the cookie program to help finance her activities. Often, it’s the parent’s voice from the hallway, reminding the scout that she needs to finish that paperwork, that makes the difference for a scout who earns her Gold Award. (Mind you, I have also received Silver Award paperwork in a parent’s handwriting. No. I give it immediately back and refuse to turn it in until the scout fills out her own paperwork. The GIRL earns the awards, not her mother.)

Now that the girl has juggled all of these accomplishments with her civilian responsibilities of high school classes, competitive sports leagues, academic competitions, music lessons, etc, she must lead a Gold Award project, with more paperwork than a lawsuit, that takes at least 150 volunteer hours to complete.

Demi oneDemi with CEO of GSSJC Mary Vitek (on right) and President of the Board of Directors of GSSJC Mary Ryder (on left).

These are the girls who will change the world! Let’s hear it for Demi and all the girls who earned the most prestigious award Girl Scouts has to offer! Congratulations, young ladies! We are ALL proud of you.

To learn more about the Girl Scout Gold Award or how you can help build girls of courage, confidence and character who help make the world a better place, please contact your local Girl Scout Council. A directory can be found at http://www.girlscouts.org/councilfinder/.

Just for fun, I caught this pinned to a door on my way out of the Girl Scout office:

Demi 5


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