by Whitney Crouch
Three members of Girl Scout Troop 8061 received their Silver Awards during a ceremony Thursday, Oct. 25. Family members, fellow Girl Scouts and members of the community gathered in the Bobcat Den to celebrate the girls’ achievement.
Michelle Brant, Troop 8061 co-leader, shared, “It has been a privilege and honor (to watch) them grow and learn how to be independent women … they have contributed to our Troop in many ways.”
The Silver Award is the highest honor that can be achieved by Girl Scouts in sixth through eighth grade who are registered Cadettes and have completed a Cadette Journey. In order to receive the award, each of the girls had to plan and complete a project that allowed them to give back to the community.
As Troop 8061 co-leader Diane Wilson observed, the Scouts drew on their strengths and completed “projects as unique as the girls who did them.”
For her project, Rebeka Christa led two sessions of free art lessons for children in the Gilmer County community. Participants enjoyed the opportunity to sketch, paint, mold clay and produce sand art. Christa explained that she chose her project because she wanted “to give kids a way to express themselves through art.”
Lauren Roberson organized a fundraising team named Flower Power for Relay for Life, explaining raising awareness about cancer “has always been something close to my heart.”
Two-time cancer survivor Cathy Simmons-Taylor attended the ceremony and spoke highly of Roberson’s efforts, which helped spread awareness and raise money for cancer patients to visit the American Cancer Society’s Hope Lodge and participate in the “Look Good … Feel Better” program, which helps women cancer patients “manage the appearance-related side effects of cancer treatment” (lookgoodfeelbetter.org).
Working from her desire for “kids in our community to be active and be safe doing it,” Megan Wilson led three classes to teach local children about outdoor safety. These free sessions included such lessons as knife safety, knot tying, compass use, building a fire and fire safety, recognizing local poisonous plants and animals, setting up a tent and building a mess kit.
As Janet Davis, the Work-Based Learning coordinator for Gilmer High School, observed, the process of completing these projects taught the girls to believe in themselves and instilled within them important skills such as planning, networking, leadership, decision-making, financial planning and implementation.
The next step for the girls in their leadership journey is to pursue the Girl Scout Gold Award, the highest achievement level in Girl Scouting.