Monday, February 20, 2012

Over the Mountain Girls Earn Gold Awards

Courtney - Picture This: Cooking Step by Step
Courtney recently earned her Gold Award for her project Picture This: Cooking Step by Step.  With the help of her troop and teachers at Pelham High School, Courtney put together a photo cookbook with step-by-step instructions for students enrolled in the special needs program. As a result of her hard work, Courtney will present her cookbook to state educators at the Alabama Transition Conference in March.

Courtney is from Helena and is currently a freshman at Huntingdon College. 

Emily - Message in a Bottle/Mensaji en una Botella
For Emily's Gold Award project, she worked with Fiesta, Inc. to bring Recycle Alabama to its annual Hispanic Event at Regions Park in Hoover.  Emily made sure bins were available for aluminum and plastic items and handed out reusable water bottles with messages in them about the benefits of recycling. In the Children’s Village, Emily and her volunteers performed skits throughout the day about the importance of recycling at home.

“Recycling plastic and aluminum is a simple and effective way to protect our environment,” Emily said, “People just need to be better educated about how they can participate.”

Emily is a senior at Hoover High School. Her parents are Eddie and Teresa.

Emily - Cornelia de Lange Syndrome Family Gathering
Emily brought over 60 people together for her Cornelia de Lange Syndrome (CdLS) Family Gathering, a genetic disorder that directly affects her. Emily invited families affected by CdLS to join her for a day of connecting, sharing and learning. She also invited a Family Service Coordinator from the CdLS Foundation, Vanderbilt and University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) medical doctors, and a special education teacher. Families were able to share information and consult with the program’s presenters. In June, Emily will speak at the CdLS National Conference about her experience with the disease and her future plans.

“The project was hard and time-consuming,” said Emily, “but I completed it because I pushed myself and I was determined.”

Emily is a senior at Hoover High School.  Her parents are Walter and Sandra.

Susan - Renovation of the Oak Mountain Middle School Long Jump Pit
Susan, a member of the track and cross country team at Oak Mountain High School, renovated the middle school’s long jump pit for her Gold Award project. The old pit was inadequate and unsafe for practice. With the help of a troop friend and two teammates, Susan removed the grass in the old pit and dug out a trench to hold the new wooden frame.  In addition to rebuilding the pit, Susan spent many afternoons coaching the middle school students in 300- and 400-meter hurdles, and high and long jump techniques. Susan reveals, “The most successful part of my project was seeing the kids that I coached reach their season goals.”

Susan is a senior at Oak Mountain High School.

Tory - Brock's Gap Survival 101
Tory hosted a workshop for incoming sixth grade girls and Brock’s Gap Intermediate School for her Gold Award project. The idea came to her after her younger sister and her friends expressed their concerns about starting middle school. Tory worked with over 60 girls to share advice, take a school tour and practice opening lockers. Tory reveals, “I’m glad I was able to help ease the transition to middle school because it can be a scary thing.”

Tory is a senior at Hoover High School. Her parents are Debbie and Richard.

Caroline - Home Tweet Home
Caroline worked with Turkey Creek Nature Preserve in Pinson to build an on-site bird haven for her Gold Award project. With her dad’s help, Caroline built 12 houses, and her brother’s Boy Scout troop helped hammer the bird houses to the trees. She also gave a bird presentation to a Girl Scout troop and had them help her make pinecone bird feeders and string together Fruit Loops. “My great, great grandfather built a cabin on Turkey Creek that we still use,” said Caroline. “We still have his diaries from over 100 years ago about the wildlife he enjoyed, and I hope that others can now enjoy the wildlife too.”

Caroline is a senior at Vestavia Hills High School. Her parents are Elizabeth and Rich.

Grace - Jag Running Club 
Grace started a running club for students at Greystone Elementary. Grace met with the students two to three times a week to run before school.  Grace said, “I wanted the focus to be on preventing childhood obesity, not speed or ability.” As a result, Grace incorporated healthy eating habits into her program and made the children keep a personal fitness log. “It’s important to make running fun,” Grace reveals, “because if they enjoy it, they will continue to do it.”

Grace is a junior at Spain Park High School. Her parents are Susan Wilkens and Michael.

About the Gold Award
The Gold Award is highest level of Girl Scout achievement. This award recognizes the Senior & Ambassador Girl Scout’s commitment to herself, her community, and her future. The girl who goes for the Gold embraces challenges, achieves excellence, and works diligently to make the world a better place, in her own unique way. Her leadership, vision, and boundless energy is an inspiration to all Girl Scouts. Each girl earning her Gold Award demonstrates excellence through a leadership project totaling more than 65 hours. Girls who earn their Gold Award are also recognized by the President of the United States, the U.S. Congress, the U.S. Armed Services, state legislatures, colleges and universities for admission and scholarship opportunities, and the American Legion.