Empowered Girl Scouts Pursue Gold Award Projects

Photo Courtesy of Lauren Kettner
Senior and Girl Scout Troop 2065 member Lauren Kettner successfully achieved her Gold Award by introducing her project “Reach Out to Knowledge,” which focused on helping educate children on concepts they may forget throughout the summer at local libraries.

Claudia Lin, Staff Writer

Through Girl Scouts, a nationally-recognized empowerment program for girls, young and ambitious women pursue passion projects that initiate a lasting impact on their communities. Upon completion of this project, girls are rewarded with the Gold Award, an accolade that acknowledges those who best exemplify the characteristics of a female leader. As current members of local Girl Scout troops, senior Lauren Kettner and sophomore Saachi Pavani discuss their experiences engaging in the rigorous process of developing a long term, sustainable project. 

For anyone considering earning the Girl Scout Gold Award, I want you to know that even if the obstacles seem hard to get around, you can make it. The Girl Scout Gold Award will be challenging, but do a project you’re passionate about.”

— Lauren Kettner

“To earn the Girl Scout Gold Award, a Girl Scout must complete either two Ambassador or Senior journeys,” Pavani said. “Journeys are essentially training meant to prepare girls to tackle issues they’re passionate about. Once these requirements have been fulfilled, a girl must interview with a Gold Award Liaison to get her project approved, and then they must spend at least 80 hours on the final project.”

After earning her Silver Award by creating sustainable hygiene kits for women in Haiti and El Salvador, Pavani aspires to further impact her community by partnering with Stop the Bleed, a national awareness campaign dedicated to teaching first aid skills to the public. The journey that comes with cultivating her Gold Award project is one that entails numerous hours and meetings with Scout advisers.

Two years ago, Kettner encountered similar experiences when she implemented a community-based education system for elementary school students at the University Park Library to earn her Gold Award. The goal of her project was to help children retain information during summer. 

Having already achieved her Gold Award, Kettner said she still cherishes every challenge set forth during her experience and the moments when she witnessed her project bring change to the library community. 

“For anyone considering earning the Girl Scout Gold Award, I want you to know that even if the obstacles seem hard to get around, you can make it,” Kettner said. “The Girl Scout Gold Award will be challenging, but do a project you’re passionate about.”

Through projects like the Gold Award, Girl Scouts build confidence and courage in girls and equip them with the resilience to overcome limitations. 

“The Girl Scout Gold Award is the pinnacle of the Girl Scout leadership experience,” Pavani’s Girl Scout troop leader Kellie Almy said. “Pursuing the Gold Award teaches and confirms their leadership abilities, affirms their dedication and initiative, and empowers their community problem solving prowess.”