Gold Award Girl Scouts Emily Elbaum, Cassidy Gard, and Riley Hearon

The Gold Award is the highest award a girl can earn
in Girl Scouting. It’s a national standard that acknowledges a girl’s accomplishments, leadership, commitment, creativity, and personal effort to make the world a better place. Each Gold Award is a significant achievement in a girl’s life and an extension and compilation of all she has learned through her Girl Scout experience.

Gold Award recipient Emily Elbaum

For our first Gold Award Girl Scout recipient Emily Elbaum, her project aimed to aid students to learn through fun and enjoy their education. She focuses on Interactive Education in the Outdoors. Emily believes that all students learn differently, and her inspiration was to provide students with different ways to understand concepts, gain essential skills, and truly love to learn. Emily painted a map of the fifty states of America on the playground of her local elementary school. She then created a website to go along with the map that includes a series of games, links, videos, and quizzes. The activities allowed students to learn the curriculum and required them to understand it in a more engaged and involved way. These students will hopefully retain the information they are learning since their participation in a more active learning experience using the best methods.

Emily says, she’s learned a lot about how to adapt to a constantly changing environment, and to persevere even when things don’t go her way.

Emily plans to check in with the school every so often and make sure her project is sustaining its initial use and develop new games and activities for it in the future.

Gold Award recipient Cassidy Gard

Our next Gold Award recipient, Cassidy Gard created a sensory path at Virginia Peterson inside and outside so that kids can get their wiggles out and take time to refocus. A sensory course is a series of guided movements for kids to follow, shown by markings on the ground or walls. Students who follow the path and complete the exercises work off excess energy and develop their gross motor skills. The various movements on the course are designed to engage various parts of the body and brain, from frog hops to spins and wall pushes. You can find sensory paths in school hallways or playgrounds, from pre-K through middle schools. Teachers often use sensory paths as their kids walk through a hallway between activities. These paths can be especially effective for students who experience frustration, anger, or other sensory overload during a learning activity. Cassidy learned that working off some emotions can help them refocus when returning to their desk.

Cassidy says, “I learned that it doesn’t matter how old or young you are working with kids will always bring out the child in you.

Cassidy plans to become a marriage and family therapist.

Gold Award recipient Riley Hearon

Our last Gold Award recipient, Riley Hearon, partnered with the Catholic charity Good Shepherd Center, a women’s shelter for domestic abuse survivors in Los Angeles, for her Gold Award. Riley wanted to spread awareness about the taboo topic of domestic abuse and help women. Riley hosted three educational zoom workshops with a representative from the organization for the education aspect. To help the women, she created over 200 care packages containing necessities like shampoo, conditioner, hair ties, Chapstick, socks, etc. Riley hand-crocheted seventy bracelets and sold them attached to information cards to raise money for the care packages.

Riley says, “One’s life has value so long as one attributes value to the life of others.” — Simone de Beauvoir

Today Riley plans to attend Tulane University to study English on the pre-law track then attend law school.

For more information about the Gold Award and how Girl Scouts are creating positive change within their communities, visit here.