Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois (GSSI) is pleased to announce that Dakota Smallie from Granite City has earned the Girl Scout Gold Award, the highest award a Girl Scout can receive.
The idea for Dakota’s Girl Scout Gold Award project, called Pontoon Beach Patchwork Garden, was sparked from a brainstorming session she had with a group of Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts. The group discussed the issues of hunger and nutrition, and Dakota thought a community garden would be a great way to address both issues. In addition to starting and maintaining the garden, Dakota provided education on the topic to elementary school students as well as other Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts.
Through her Girl Scout Gold Award project, Dakota learned important life skills that she will be able to use throughout her life. “The most important thing I have learned through Girl Scouting is that I can accomplish anything I set my mind to,” said Dakota.
Dakota is the daughter of Scott and Nancy Smallie. She is currently senior at Granite City High School and, upon graduation, plans to pursue a degree in Chemical Engineering. Dakota has been a Girl Scout for 12 years.
The Girl Scout Gold Award, the highest award a Girl Scout can earn, recognizes a Girl Scout's commitment to excellence as she develops skills and values to meet present and future challenges in her life. To earn the Girl Scout Gold Award, a Girl Scout Senior or Girl Scout Ambassador must design and carry out a project that fulfills a need within a girl’s community, creates change, and is sustainable. The project must be completed with a suggested minimum of 80 hours of work. Only about 5 percent of eligible girls earn the prestigious Gold Award.