Critical thinking and problem solving are fundamental parts of the Girl Scouts experience. Girl Scout Gold Award recipients Jasmine Winter, Susan Belik, and Millicent Hoffert demonstrate they are no strangers to these skills by navigating arising problems like pros.
For Jasmine Winter’s Gold Award project, Hillcrest Math Learning Games and Activities, she taught kindergarten and first graders math principles using activity kits to increase proficiency and garner enthusiasm for learning. Winter created activity kits that covered addition, subtraction, division, multiplication, as well as pattern and number recognition. All kits used crafts, food, or art supplies to make the activities fun and stimulating while varying students’ math learning experiences.
Winter says she got her idea for her Gold Award Project after reading an article in our local newspaper about math proficiency at a local school in Ventura County. “It sparked my idea of focusing my Girl Scout Gold Award project on math literacy, specifically by targeting the source of students’ lack of enthusiasm for the subject. I was aware that I could not change the school’s curriculum, so I turned my interest towards creating fun activities that might make a difference in enthusiasm.”
Girl Scout Ambassador, Susan Belik, also created youth resources to earn her Gold Award. Her project titled Mental Health Through Visual Art for Teens, promoted visual art as self-care for teens in her community by creating an online virtual gallery where students were given a monthly creative prompt. Students of all skill levels were encouraged to post their work and view other students’ creations. To expand her reach, Belik also created a mural for her school’s guidance counseling office, which featured a QR code that students can scan to be immediately connected with free and low-cost mental health resources.
Belik notes that one of the greatest challenges of her project was navigating the COVID-19 pandemic. According to Belik, she “learned be adaptable when issues arose, such as finding new ways to ensure my gallery’s longevity.”
Working around COVID-19 restrictions seemed to be a common obstacle for Girl Scouts. Gold Award recipient, Millicent Hoffert, agrees saying she “learned that whenever something gets in my way, if I am determined, I am able to persevere and get it done. No matter how difficult the situation might seem, I am able to do it.”
Unlike Winter and Belik, Hoffert took a different approach to her project, Blazing A Trail. She tackled outdoor education for her Gold Award by improving the signage and hiking resources for Granite Ridge Camp. With the help of her troop leader and family, Hoffert installed trail markers and updated the pamphlet guides with trail mileage, safety recommendations, and maps. Before Hoffert’s Gold Award project, the Executive Director of Granite Ridge Camp said, “the trails were not being used as often as he would like because people were uncomfortable without clear direction.” Now with clear indicators, visitors can safely and comfortably enjoy the outdoors.
For more information about the Gold Award and how Girl Scouts are creating positive change within their communities, visit here.