Western Ohio Glitters with Gold
On March 6, girls from all across western Ohio were honored at our 2022 Gold Award Ceremony. This year, we recognized 29 Gold Award Girl Scouts who are making the world a better place.
While balancing school, work, numerous extracurricular activities, and ever-changing COVID-19 restrictions, these girls persevered to make a lasting impact on their communities. It takes hard work and dedication to earn the most prestigious award in Girl Scouting.
The ceremony was held at Sinclair Community College in Dayton. Brigadier General Alice W. Trevino, who serves as a commander in the U.S. Air Force, was the featured keynote speaker.
Each of our Gold Award Girl Scouts established herself as a courageous leader by identifying an issue in her community, planning and executing a solution, and inspiring others to create change. Their projects required a minimum commitment of 80 hours over a span of one to two years—that adds up to more than 2,320 hours of service from this year’s recipients, not counting the support from caregivers and volunteers!
Every girl serves as a shining example of positive changemaking in her community. Below is a highlight of one project from each of our council’s service regions.
Tara Heitmeyer | Ottoville, OH
Surveillance Installment at Ottoville Park
For her Gold Award project, Tara wanted to improve safety and deter vandalism at Ottoville Park. To make it a more welcoming place for members of the community, Tara researched and educated people on the use of security cameras that were installed in the park. She was a leader in the installation process and coordinated volunteers for a park cleanup day. Since cleaning the park, adding the camera systems, and sharing project results online, Tara hopes other communities will be inspired to keep their own parks beautiful and safe.
Katelyn Mergy | Kettering, OH
Katelyn discovered that many foster children in the Dayton area enter the care system with little to no personal belongings, which can leave them feeling vulnerable. She wanted to provide stability and positive self-worth to the children with comfort items not available through the state agencies, so she organized several drives to collect toys, stuffed animals, books, journals, and more. Katelyn, along with her team, assembled about 400 “Hope” bags—made from a no-sew t-shirt—and provided foster care education to Girl Scout troops, churches, and the Junior League of Dayton. While the bags were not able to wipe away the trauma some children experienced, they were able to bring comfort to many.
Madelyn Summers | Maineville, OH
Save the Monarch
Concerned by the significant decrease in the monarch butterfly population, Madelyn worked with a naturalist and a team of volunteers at Cowan Lake State Park to plant two butterfly gardens full of native plants that are beneficial to pollinators. She also organized educational workshops with local beekeepers, environmental experts and enthusiasts, and a naturalist from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, where attendees learned about the importance of pollinators, chose native seeds to take home and plant in their own gardens, and completed a community service project for the Ohio Pollinator Habitat Initiative. To reach a wider audience, Madelyn created a website and a patch program with fun activities participants can do at home.
Gold Award Girl Scouts are the changemakers the world needs. We are honored to be one of the first of many to recognize their achievements in earning the mark of the truly remarkable.