Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Girl Scout Gold Awardees 2014-15: A Look Back

Katie Albert - Waterloo     Project: Unplug and Go Outside

Katie held two "Unplug and Go Outside" events to get more children in her community to put down their electronic devices and go outside to participate in outdoor activities.  One of her events centered on sports, with children playing t-ball, wiffle ball, croquet, lawn darts, washers and ladderjacks.  The second event focused on nature and craft and included making sidewalk chalk, planting herbs, hiking a nature trail and doing leaf rubbings.

Elizabeth Arend - Highland     Project: CAMP-Collect, Acquisition, Make, Provide

Elizabeth improved cabins at GSSI's Camp Torqua for girls to use during outdoor experiences.  She painted and restained cabins, made 70 curtains and curtain rods for their windows and had old electrical light sockets replaced with new covers.  In addition, Elizabeth planned and supervised the framing, stoning and pouring of a concrete slab under the Pumpkin Patch pavilion. 

Lainey Brown - O'Fallon     Project: Sensory Sensations

Lainey worked with two nursing homes to help Alzheimer patients.  She created two sensory boards and 100 sensory bags to help residents improve memory skills . She brought in a guitarist to work with staff to engage patients' memories through music.  She held a party at each facility with homemade blankets and other prizes for games that she led. She also provided books about Alzheimer's for facility staff to read.

Kaylynn Clement - O'Fallon     Project: Be True, Be You Workshop

Kaylynn developed workshops for students in grades 3-5 on anti-bullying, self esteem and body/skin care.  She used her life experiences with bullying to help other girls by providing more resources that could help combat bullying and increase self esteem and confidence. 

Kaitlyn Frick - Edwardsville   Project: Advertising for Children's Museum Website & Library 

Kaitlyn worked with the Edwardsville Children's Museum to produce four advertisement videos to encourage more youth to visit the museum and use its resources.  Working with the museum's Executive Director, she created videos that included summer camp, everyday play, birthday parties and a virtual tour.  In addition, she held a book drive and made a bookshelf for the museum.

Emily Fuhler - Trenton  Project: We've Got You Covered
Emily worked with The Covering House, a St. Louis based organization that helps girls who have experienced sexual exploitation or sexual trafficking.  She helped the agency prepare to open a residential facility to provide long-term therapeutic care.  She also created a disaster kit for the facility in case of emergencies.  In addition, Emily discussed human trafficking at her high school and wrote an article for the local newspaper to raise awareness about the issue.

Megan Kraus - Waterloo   Project: He's Got the Whole World in His Hands Mural
Megan spread a sense of positivity and creative expression through an array of community service projects, including painting a mural in her former grade school and engaging children in art programs.   She hosted a coloring contest at Vacation Bible School, a calendar-making class at the library and craft sessions at an area Girl Scout campout.  While teaching the children artistic skills, Megan also emphasized that art can be a positive outlet for emotional expression, rather than turning to negative attitudes or behavior.

Lizzie Krouse - Albion   Project: Saturday Science
Lizzie really enjoys STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Math) and wanted to help develop a love for these activities for youth in her community.  She started an event, Saturday Science, that will be continued by the community science club each year.

Alexandra Lloyd - O'Fallon    Project:  The Teen Show
Alexandra worked with MindsEye Radio to develop a variety of radio programming for blind teenagers.  She recorded different magazines that teens could listen to and then shared this programming with the Missouri School for the Blind and Delta Gamma, which work with blind teens.  Alexandra also made instructions for accessing MindsEye's "The Teen Show," program, interviewed kids for the program and donated CDs of material.
Jordan Lorusso - Edwardsville   Project: A Vacation Bible School
Jordan held a week-long Vacation Bible School with First Baptist Church of Edwardsville that was specifically for middle school students.  To make the week a success, she coordinated faith-based learning sessions and discussions, planned fun activities and arranged community service projects with the Edwardsville Humane Society and Watershed Nature Center.  She publicized the event by putting up flyers and promoting through Facebook and Joy FM radio station.  Jordan's efforts not only drew middle school students to her church, but also increased membership in its youth group.

Tessa Miller - Red Bug - "The Plot Thickens"
Tessa developed a computer program and map of St. John's Lutheran Church Cemetery in Red Bud.  In addition, she cleaned more than 200 cemetery tombstones while collecting data from each of them.  She then shared the information of interred veterans with the Ladies Auxiliary and the Boy Scouts so they could place American flags on the graves.  St. John's Lutheran Church now has a computerized list of all the gravestones and Tessa has recruited volunteers to continue updating the records.

Samantha Mitchell - Carbondale   Project: One Hundred for Haiti
Samantha organized a community project to make and send children's clothing and school bags to Haiti.  After learning more about the poverty in Haiti following the massive 2010 earthquake, she wanted to connect her hometown to global service and fellowship.  She got connected to a Christian disaster relief organization, mobilized the community by giving presentations and distributing pamphlets, then taught her Girl Scout troop how to sew so they could make bags and clothing together.
Claire Rankin - Carterville  
Project: There's No Place Like Home: Homelessness in Southern Illinois
Claire wanted to address the needs of homeless families and children.  She partnered with the Family Crisis Center in Herrin to increase awareness about homelessness.  In addition, she developed and held a health and hygiene goods drive with the Interact Club at her high school.  Claire also created a list of various shelters and food banks where people can go to help.

Caitlyn Rosenberg - O'Fallon   Project: Fun with Nutrition
Caitlyn combined her love of cooking with her love of helping children.  In particular, she wanted to show them healthier things to eat that would prevent childhood obesity.  Caitlyn held a healthy cooking class at local children's camps and shared tips for healthy habits.

Tera Sparks - O'Fallon  Project: The People of the O'Fallon City Cemetery
Tera created a repository of all the headstones and markers in the O'Fallon City Cemetery and placed it online so residents, family and friends could easily find grave locations.  She also made a map, took a photo of each headstone, compared photos to city records and documented all known data about the deceased as well as any inscriptions on the headstone.  This information was then uploaded to the O'Fallon City website for anyone to use.  In the future, O'Fallon GEO Information Services will keep the database updated.

Kathryn Stacy - Shiloh  Project: Katie's Kitchen

Kathryn shared her love of cooking and gardening with the community by volunteering with the O'Fallon Garden Club.  The group grew vegetables that were then donated to the O'Fallon Community Food Pantry.  She also prepared recipes that included vegetables grown in the O'Fallon Garden and shared the recipes with samples with clients of the food pantry.

Carley Sutton - Greenville   Project: The "Hot Spot"
Carley worked with volunteers to plan and build a pavilion for the local BBQ pit - a favorite spot of  community firefighters.  Carley has three generations of firefighters on both sides of her family and wanted to show appreciation for their hard work and service.

Krista VanDriel - O'Fallon   Project: Helping the Handicap
Krista built a wheelchair accessible picnic table at the Care Center of Belleville Memorial Hospital.  In addition, she worked with girls at O'Fallon Day Camp to build and paint 10 birdhouses that decorate the care centers two courtyards, as well as landscaped and planted a beautiful circle garden for hospital residents and their families to enjoy.

Shelby Wratchford - Fults   Project: Mornings with the Masters

Shelby shared her love of art by providing a program called Mornings with the Masters: Art and History Experiences for Middle-schoolers.  She created fun, hands-on art sessions where students were introduced to different periods of art history, such as Cubism, and the great masters associated with those movements.  Students then worked with a variety of art materials including chalk, clay and oil pastels to create their own versions of the artists' works.