For Girl Scouts, “Going Gold” means earning the highest achievement in Girl Scouting—the Gold Award. This award recognizes girls in grades 9 through 12 who demonstrate extraordinary leadership through sustainable and measurable Take Action projects that address important community needs.
Thirty Girl Scouts from around the Pittsburgh region will receive their Gold Award pins at a special ceremony on June 13 at the Pittsburgh Marriott North, 100 Cranberry Woods Drive, Cranberry Township, from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
A Girl Scout who earns a Gold Award has sought out the work that needs doing in her community and put a plan in action—addressing childhood obesity, connecting more girls to STEM, or creating a much-needed neighborhood playground.
Allison Love, a junior at Seneca Valley Intermediate High School, earned her Gold Award by helping kids make new friends and try new things at Dr. Bill Neches Heart Camp for Kids.
Heart Camp has always held a special place in Allison's life, as a camper and now as a camp counselor. She is a survivor of complex congenital heart disease and heart camp was a place where she could be with other kids who understood her struggles.
It was that feeling of belonging that drove Allison to choose the camp as the focus of her Gold Award project.
“I noticed over the years that kids were afraid of getting involved in activities at heart camp,” Allison noted, “They were afraid of being judged.”
Allison developed activities and an incentive system at camp to help kids get to know each other and try new things, like climbing a rock wall or fishing. She found the activities particularly helped younger campers.
“The young kids are in cabins with people they’ve never met and it could be their first time away from home,” Allison said.
In one of Allison’s activities, campers have to work together to create a flag that represents their cabin. Through the activity, kids get to know one another and discover that they have a lot in common.
“For kids who have severe needs, this is the one place where they are not treated differently,” Allison adds.
For many Girl Scouts like Allison, the leadership skills and sense of community gained from the Gold Award process cements the foundation for a lifetime of active citizenship.
In 2016, GSWPA will celebrate 100 years of the Gold Award and the amazing women who have earned it. GSWPA is proud to consistently exceed the national average of Gold Award recipients, showing that western Pennsylvania Girl Scouts are truly living the Girl Scout mission to make the world a better place.
About Girl Scouts
Founded in 1912, Girl Scouts of theUSA is the preeminent leadership experience for girls and is the leading authority on girls' healthy development. Girl Scouts builds girls of courage, confidence and character, who make the world a better place. The 2.8-million-member organization serves girls from every corner of the United States and its territories. Girl Scouts of the USA also serves American girls and their classmates attending American or international schools overseas in 90 countries. For more information on how to join, volunteer, reconnect or donate to Girl Scouts Western Pennsylvania, call 1-800-248-3355 or visit gswpa.org.