This Saturday I was a proud Girl Scout leader. But I was more than that too; I was a proud mom and a proud member of the City of Orange. Why? I was thrilled to see we have some amazing potential leaders in the teenaged girls around us. To quote a member of the ceremony planning team, Donna Bergas-Hess, in her opening welcome "Girl Scouts are not just about selling cookies!" She is right. Girl Scouts is so much more than cookies. The leadership skills and experiences that girls get in Girl Scouts, can help girls on their journey to be successful adults who give back to the world.
This Saturday I got to hear about the girls in our local community who were receiving the two highest awards that Girl Scouts can get, the Silver and the Gold Awards. Proudly, my daughter was there receiving her Silver award and I got the honor of presenting it to her. The Girl Scout Silver Award—the highest award a Girl Scout Cadette can earn—gives girls the chance to show they are leaders who are organized, determined, and dedicated to improving the community.
The Silver Award recipients for 2012 in Orange are; Troop 626- Holly Hesseltine, Cierra Marie San Roman, Emma Smith, Troop 499- Cassandra Woods, Troop 915- Allyson Ashford, Katherine Foresman, Elizabeth Jahn, Celeste Kenney, Amelia Mae Rumsey, Chloe Healy and Troop 1360- Celia Janes. The projects they did were varied and helped all over our community; Shooting free family photos at a homeless shelter, collecting baby supplies for the needy and teen moms, donating blankets, toys and food to an animal shelter, donating books and toys to needy children, donating seatsacks to a school, building birdhouses to beautify a garden, donating art supplies for after-school programs, building safer stairs at a non-profit horse stable and even supplying home-cooked meals to people who can't get out or are suffering a tragedy. All the projects were great and took lots of time, thought and work to make them happen.
After the girls got their Silver Awards, the Gold Award recipients came up on stage. By earning the Girl Scout Gold Award- a teen girl is in an exceptional position to take action and make the world a better place. She will be joining the ranks of generations of young women who have made a difference both locally and globally. The Gold Award symbolizes outstanding accomplishemtns in areas of leadership, community service, career planning, and personal development. Young women who earn the Gold demonstrate self-disipline, time management, originality, initiative, leadership and global awareness.
The Gold Award recipients for 2012 in Orange are, Troop 496- Katie Steuart, Troop 2076- Rachel Stein, Troop 659- Bryn Gornick, Hallie Honma, Joy Jacobs and Athena Mitchell. The girls came up on stage and each gave a short speech about their projects. This year's Gold Awards included; creating and hosting a day at a local nature center, teaching children science in a fun and creative way, designing and creating a handmade bird bath for a local bird sanctuary, educating the community about donating bone marrow and holding succesful bone marrow registries, knitting (and teaching other to help her) tiny beanies for premature babies to help with their growth and development and teaching about art and recycling at the same time so that kids can learn to recycle.
This Saturday I saw some of our future in action. All of these remarkable girls, whether earning the Silver or the Gold, are developing skills, practicing leadership and in the process discovering themselves and where they fit into this world. All the girls talked about what they were majoring in at college and they all had grand plans for the future. I wish I had been that organized as a teen. I was very impressed! Congratulations to all our future leaders mentioned here and all Girl Scouts, Girls Rock!!
To find out more about Girl Scouting in Orange County please go to Gscoc.org
For more information about our Girl Scout National Programs please go to the National Program Portfolio at Girl Scouts USA