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.

Our next Gold Award project features Ava Johnson’s project,”Gardening For All.”

Ava’s Gold Award Project addressed the access of the outdoors for special needs individuals. Predominately individuals with limited abilities, and the ability to enjoy the simple activity of gardening. Ava notes that many people take this activity for granted, as they are able to bend down and move around easily. However, for special needs individuals, they struggle with basic motor abilities. Ava listed and completed the following task items that needed to be addressed for her Gold Award Project to be successful.

  • Create an activity that is safe to complete during quarantine and that address isolation and socialization in a safe environment. (Individuals with special needs are often limited on what they can do in the community due to their environment and resources available)
  • Create an activity that teaches basic life skills and nutrition through gardening.
  • Accessibility to an activity that promotes physical and mental health well being. (Movement/exercise and increases socialization with caregiver.)
  • Activity that they can carry over with their own families at home.(Encourages other family members to garden or share skills learned.)
  • Reduce potential for injury in order to participate in this activity for people with special needs and their caregivers.
  • Gives special needs individuals a sense of independence by planting and harvesting their own food.

Ava built accessible gardens for post secondary special education students at Santa Susana High School. Students were able to easily engage within their school, home, and community.