Our Gold Shines Bright at the 2021 Gold Award Ceremony
Girls from all across western Ohio glittered at our 2021 Gold Award Ceremony on Sunday, April 25. This year we recognized 21 Gold Award Girl Scouts who persevered through the challenges of a pandemic and a worldwide shutdown to lead sustainable change in their communities.
Through the countless pivots to their project plans, adaptations to follow social distancing guidelines, and general uncertainty of the last year these girls kept moving forward toward their goal. We honor their hard work and drive to accomplish their goal of earning the highest award a Girl Scout can earn, the Girl Scout Gold Award. They join a legacy more than 100 years strong: our best and brightest Gold Award Girl Scouts!
The ceremony was held outdoors at Camp Stonybrook in Waynesville and featured a Gold Award alum, Charlynda Scales, the Founder and CEO of Mutt’s Sauce, LLC, as the keynote speaker.
Each Girl Scout took the lead by identifying an issue in her community and putting a project plan into action to address that issue in a sustainable way. The projects required a minimum of 80 hours of individual effort from each girl (not counting volunteers and other members of her team!). From our 2021 Gold Award Girl Scouts, that’s more than 1,680 hours spent making their corner of the world a better place!
While every girl’s project was uniquely awesome, we’ll limit ourselves to highlighting a few diverse projects from across our council! Want all 21? Don’t worry, you can explore all of their awesome projects on our website!
Anvi Arora | Mason, OH
AN ISSUE IN THE SHADOWS: HUMAN TRAFFICKING AWARENESS & ACTION
After learning that Ohio has one of the highest rates of human trafficking cases in the country, Anvi wanted to raise awareness and take action to change this. She organized an in-person event and virtual panel discussions, with speakers including representatives from Procter & Gamble and Ohio’s Human Trafficking Taskforce. Anvi also created educational materials, which she distributed through the public libraries, reaching over 300 people. Anvi worked with Mason Public Schools, which will add lesson plans that Anvi developed into their high school social studies curriculum. By sharing her findings & recommending next steps with Procter & Gamble, Anvi not only educated her own community, but inspired a global company to take action against human trafficking.
Emily Manuel | Lima, OH
Emily created and coordinated an afterschool program focused on the mentoring and teaching of middle school students with high school student volunteers. After receiving permission from school administrators, Emily recruited and trained high school students as tutors, organized the after school sessions, and worked with teachers to recruit middle school students to the program. She evaluated the success of her tutors with monthly meetings and the impact on the student who participated through quarterly evaluations of scholarly improvements. Between teachers, tutors, administrators, parents, and students, seventy people were involved in this program. The program will continue at the school with a teacher taking over its coordination.
Gwyneth Martz | Fort Jennings, OH
USING QR CODES TO MODERNIZE THE PUTNAM COUNTY MUSEUM
For her project, Gwyneth worked in partnership with the Putnam County Museum to find ways to increase traffic. Her solution was to modernize the museum through QR codes that link visitors to videos explaining the exhibits. In determining what exhibits to create videos for, Gwyneth worked closely with the museum board and received feedback through surveys. She worked one on one with local historians to create engaging videos that preserved local knowledge. Gwyneth was in the middle of her project when COVID-19 restrictions started in the state. Her perseverance, problem solving skills, and leadership helped her to complete her award. Her hope for her project is that more people will know that history can be fun and enjoyable.
Noelle Massarelli | Beavercreek, OH
RUSS NATURE RESERVE PLAYSCAPE PROJECTS
In May 2019, Russ Nature Reserve was heavily damaged during an outbreak of tornados in the Dayton area. Noelle wanted to restore the PlayScape and add new features. Some of the restoration she did included a new Playscape sign, checker board set, and sail canopies for shade since the trees were gone. There was a neglected play grocery store that Noelle made wooden food items. She painted, glued, and sprayed labels from real packages. There were three log drums still standing. To improve the sound, she shaved off bark and made one log drum handicap accessible. Once the project was completed, she held an open house that was well attended. Her inspiration is due to her love of the outdoors and a playground completely made out of nature.
These, our 2021 Gold Award Girl Scouts, are the girls the world needs. We are so excited to be one of the first of many to celebrate their achievements and cheer them on as they continue to be changemakers in their communities.