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Column: As Girl Scouts grow, they go for the gold

10:26 AM, Mar. 5, 2014  |  Comments
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When people picture a Girl Scout, they often imagine a sweet little kindergartner in a Daisy tunic selling cookies outside a local grocery store. Indeed, Daisies are where it all starts, but Girl Scouting and the lessons learned reach far beyond those early days.

You also should picture a fourth-grader meeting government officials, a seventh-grader filming a digital movie and a high school senior facilitating a community-wide service project. You should picture girls of all ages, personalities and upbringings discovering new interests and their potential as leaders. The common threads between these girls are the pursuit for knowledge, empowerment and accomplishment.

As girls grow older through the Girl Scout program, their options aren't limited - quite the contrary. They can travel internationally, mentor younger girls, participate in high-adventure wilderness trips and put their ideas into action to make a difference in the community by earning the Girl Scout Gold Award. The Gold Award is the highest achievement in Girl Scouting and signifies a willingness to commit to a cause or issue and take on significant responsibility as girls lead a major community project.

During the past few years, we have seen an increased number of girls pursue the Gold Award with creative projects that make a real difference in our communities and beyond. One local Girl Scout built a handicapped archery platform at the local sportsman's club; another put together brain-stimulating activity kits for Alzheimer's patients; and yet another organized a career clothing closet for people in need.

Girls pursuing the Gold Award have the freedom to decide what interests them and determine how they can use those interests to improve the lives of others.

When a girl commits to earning the Girl Scout Gold Award, she discovers her potential and develops crucial skills. A recent study revealed that Gold Award recipients report significantly higher success in life and in reaching their goals. Statistics show that they earn a higher education, excel in their careers, utilize important life skills learned through their Gold Award projects and are more involved in the community as adults.

Girl Scout alumna and Gold Award recipient Anne Roubal noted, "As a Girl Scout, you learn to be comfortable with who you are. If you are interested in something, you go for it! If you set your mind to something, you take the steps to accomplish it. Girl Scouts shows girls how to keep pushing and exploring in order to get where they want to be."

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If you've ever answered "Who has the ball?" with "It's halftime," you might recognize The Airhead. Check out the characters in our cartoon gallery of oddball fans.

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