Two Chattanooga teens have earned the Girl Scout Gold Award. It is the most difficult to achieve, and only a Girl Scout Senior (grades 9-10) or a Girl Scout Ambassador (grades 11-12) may earn the award. "It’s a one-of-a-kind opportunity for girls to engage in a rigorous process that calls for leadership at the highest level," officials said. "Girls must work individually to design and implement a project that solves a specific community need and creates lasting change. Gold Award Girl Scouts devote at least 80 hours to their projects and truly accomplish the Girl Scout mission of developing courage, confidence and character to make our world a better place."
“While earning this award, girls explore possible careers, practice public speaking, improve communication skills and gain confidence in their ability to achieve,” said Lynne Fugate, chief executive officer of the Girl Scout Council of the Southern Appalachians. “A Gold Award Girl Scout receives many benefits from her achievement, including college scholarships, the ability to enter the military at a higher rank, becoming more active in their communities and making powerful connections.”
The Girl Scout Council of the Southern Appalachians presented the Gold Award at a March 18 ceremony at the Chattanoogan. The Gold Award Girl Scouts are:
Mycah Boykin - Mycah created an art activity for the students at Woodmore Elementary School. As the school community had recently faced the tragic death of six students, she thought art would be a way for them to channel their grief into something positive. The children could decorate a feather that would be included in two sets of “Wings of Hope,” made to commemorate the lost students and inspire hope for the future.
Savannah Petree - Savannah created a support group called “Positive POTS Players” for people with postural orthostatic tachycardia, a unique and rare illness. Positive POTS Players allows for each member to know they are not alone and provides a safe space to be themselves and not hide their sickness.
Fourteen girls were also presented with the Girl Scout Silver Award, the highest award Girl Scout Cadettes (grades 6-8) can achieve. Working individually or in a group, girls focus on an issue they care about and then invest at least 50 hours in a community service project. The Silver Award Girl Scouts are:
Claire Culp, Christin Garland, Claire Pouncy and Margaret Henderson - With the help of Erlanger, East Brainerd Publix, Rotary Club, Christ United Methodist Church and Paula Scott, the girls were able to supply 100 bags, each filled with a cancer poem, water bottle, rock with encouraging word, hard candies and more to cancer patients at Erlanger Hospital.
Haley Hightshue and Audrey Coterel - Audrey and Haley, with the help of Bob Franklin with Franklin Association Architects, drafted ideas and solutions for a drainage issue present at the town hall. They proposed that putting down railroad ties would be best because they could reduce the water path towards the drainage pipe and away from the town pool.
Annaliese Mullins - Annaliese wanted to start a recycling program at her church and dance studio. She placed bins at both locations and announced the plan to the church and studio. She took out the recycling every week.
Starr Hinton - Starr created a book about how the world is changing and made it available to local schools.
Zaryiah Clay - Zaryiah chose to do a book project because her passion is to see all children learn how to read. She started at her local church and worked with the children there. She attended the children’s church and read to the kids. She believes literacy will open children’s minds to a whole world of imagination.
Jaia White and Jadyn White - Jaia and Jadyn worked with Rainbow Daycare on a project that promoted learning activities to introduce preschoolers to kindergarten concepts and experiences. The girls focused on 10–14 activities that the kids could do in their seats.
Kymora Kirk - Kymora’s project addressed the shortage of arts and crafts supplies in classrooms for preschool children due to limited funds. She resolved the issue by creating a donation drive to collect arts and crafts for the preschool classroom at the Chambliss Center for Children, a local non-profit in Chattanooga.
Audrey Bevans - Audrey worked with Bachman Summer Camp group and Signal Mountain Percussion to create a learning environment for elementary school students that would teach them about a variety of percussion instruments. She used instruments from her father, John Bevans, to give them hands-on experience.
Emory Olinger - Emory worked with local food banks to get needed food donations and personal hygiene products for older people, families in need, and other at-risk populations.
Twelve troops were also presented with the Girl Scout Bronze Award, the highest award a Girl Scout Junior (grades 4-5) can achieve. Bronze Award Girl Scouts are taking the first step towards involvement in their communities by identifying an issue, working together and creating change, officials said.