Girl Scouts of Northern Illinois’ Pottowatomie Service Unit, which represents Girl Scouts in St. Charles and West Chicago, will host a ceremony presenting Girl Scout highest awards on Thursday, April 25, 6:45 p.m., at Norton Creek Elementary, 2033 Smith Road, in West Chicago. The ceremony will include recognition for Cassidy Beran and Taylor Keene, both of West Chicago, who earned Girl Scouting’s highest award—the Girl Scout Gold Award.
Beran’s Girl Scout Gold Award project helped younger generations face one of the things people fear the most—public speaking. By addressing this fear at an early age, she helped children develop public speaking skills and self-confidence. She formed and led a team which assisted her in implementing Gold & Blue public speaking workshops for third, fourth, and fifth grade students at Norton Creek Elementary. Beran wrote lesson plans for each workshop and shared them with the school district, so the project would be sustainable over the years.
Keene earned her Girl Scout Gold Award with a project designed to create awareness around the function of service dogs and their place in society. She partnered with VIP Service Dog Foundation, and a dog named Elf. Working with an advisor from the foundation, a dog trainer, the future owner of Elf, and others, Keene underwent eight months of service dog training. She trained with Elf everywhere, including grocery stores, shopping malls, school events, the library, and doctor's appointments. At each location, Keene educated others on service dogs. The family receiving Elf will benefit from changes in their son’s routine, safety, and happiness.
The ceremony will include recognition for local Girl Scouts who may have earned the Girl Scout Bronze Award, the highest award a Girl Scout Junior (grades 4–5) can earn, and the Girl Scout Silver Award, the highest award a Girl Scout Cadette (grade 6–8) can earn. Girls demonstrating leadership achievement through becoming a Program Aide or earning awards for Counselor-in-Training I, Counselor-in-Training II, or Volunteer-in-Training may also be recognized.
The event will feature a bridging ceremony where Girl Scouts walk across a bridge to signify their advancement to the next Girl Scout level along with a rededication ceremony where all Girl Scouts present will rededicate themselves to building and becoming girls of courage, confidence, and character who make the world a better place.
The Girl Scout Gold Award
The Girl Scout Gold Award is the highest award a Girl Scout can earn. It represents the highest achievement in Girl Scouting, recognizing girls who demonstrate extraordinary leadership through remarkable Take Action projects which have sustainable impact in their local and global communities. The award encourages girls to explore many facets of leadership today's society needs, including leadership of self, leadership through influence of peers, and leadership as a mentor/coach. Gold Award projects help girls develop project management skills, solve a community need, and are designed to be sustainable.
Girls can earn highest awards at various Girl Scout levels. Girl Scout Juniors (grades 4–5) can earn the Girl Scout Bronze Award while Girl Scout Cadettes (grades 6–8) can earn the Girl Scout Silver Award. Girl Scout Seniors and Ambassadors (grades 9–12) can earn the Girl Scout Gold Award.
The following seven steps are required to earn the Gold Award:
Choose an issue: Use values and skills to identify a community issue you care about.
Investigate: Research everything about the issue.
Get Help: Invite others to support and take action with you.
Create a Plan: Create a project plan that achieves sustainable and measurable impact.
Present Your Plan/Get Feedback: Present your project plan to your Girl Scout council.
Take Action: Take the lead to carry out your plan.
Educate and Inspire: Share what you have experienced with others.
What makes the Girl Scout Gold Award unique? The Gold Award develops and tests multiple types of leadership. It asks girls to discover, connect, and take action to develop a sustainable solution to a community problem. The award requires 80 hours minimum of personal time investment in a project. It challenges girls to identify and work in a topic area for which they have a strong interest and passion.
Starting in 1916, the best and brightest have undertaken projects to improve their communities—and the world. The Golden Eaglet insignia, the highest award in Girl Scouts from 1916 to 1939, marked the beginning of a long tradition of recognizing the extraordinary efforts of extraordinary girls. From 1940 to 1963, the Curved Bar Award was the highest honor in Girl Scouts. From 1963 to 1980, the highest award was called First Class. Since 1980, the Gold Award has inspired girls to find the greatness inside themselves and share their ideas and passions with their communities!
GSNI 10th Anniversary: Rooted in History. Rising into the Future.
Backed by over 100 years of proven Girl Scout experience, four Girl Scout councils joined hands in 2009 and promised to propel girl leadership into the future together! In 2019, Girl Scouts of Northern Illinois will mark ten vibrant years of putting girls first at the center of all we do—from all-girl fun and adventure to unprecedented leadership opportunities found nowhere else. We have kept our promise to girls, and we always will!
Join us as we celebrate with lively family and girl events in local communities where it all began! Be part of our 10th Anniversary events and earn our special 10th Anniversary fun patch—Water, Land, Air! Girl Scouts Go Everywhere!
GSNI’s 10th Anniversary events include Over the Edge 4 Girl Scouts and Air Fair at Pheasant Run Resort in St. Charles, on June 1, 2019; the 15th Annual Thin Mint Sprint at Harlem High School in Machesney Park, on September 21, 2019, and the 2nd Annual All-Girl and Family Fishing Derby and Water Whimsy at Rock Cut State Park in Loves Park on September 22. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org, call 844-GSNI-4-ME, or visit www.girlscoutsni.org.
Wondering Why Girl Scouts?
At Girl Scouts, girls are our first and only priority. And they always will be. See how girls prepare for leadership, adventure, and success at why.girlscouts.org. This dynamic digital experience showcases Girl Scouts as a powerhouse where girls develop key skills for a lifetime. Learn more at why.girlscouts.org today!
Girl Scouts don't just dream big; we take action. Are you ready to change the world with us? www.girlscouts.org/all
We’re Girl Scouts of Northern Illinois
We believe every girl can change the world. With us, Girl Scouts develop the independence and confidence to guide their own lives and build a better world. We put girls in the driver’s seat and encourage them to customize their own experience. With programs focused on the outdoors, career and interest exploration, travel and global community, and practical life skills, in addition to community service projects, every girl can unlock her full potential and be amazing!
We serve 16 counties including parts or all of Boone, Carroll, Cook, DeKalb, DuPage, Jo Daviess, Kane, Kendall, Lake, LaSalle, Lee, McHenry, Ogle, Stephenson, Whiteside, and Winnebago. To volunteer, reconnect, donate, or join, visit www.girlscoutsni.org or call 844-GSNI-4-ME (844-476-4463).