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Driving Green, a Girl Scout Gold Award project from Caroline Avery, attempts to change the habits of young drivers by making them see how just one of them can affect the environment.

The Girl Scout Gold Award is the highest national award that a Girl Scout Senior or Ambassador, girls in grades 9-12, can earn. Avery, a Girl Scout Ambassador in Troop 1418 and a Clayton High School graduate, looked around her while at school and saw things that inspired her to take action.

“I noticed sisters taking separate cars and large SUVs carrying a driver but no passengers,” she said. She believes there was a lack of awareness on the students’ parts. To change that, she created informational brochures, a website, daily announcements and posters. “I surrounded students at my school with information that would change their outlook on transportation, and eventually, their own means of transportation.”

She learned that objectives are not achieved overnight.

“The most important lesson I learned from this project was the process required to achieve goals,” she said. “Sometimes, it can be quite difficult to work with and depend on individuals with busy lives of their own.”

Earning the Girl Scout Gold Award requires a suggested 80 hours of planning and implementing a challenging, large-scale project that is innovative, engages others and has a lasting impact on its targeted community with an emphasis on sustainability.

“After I graduate, Driving Green will be sustained through members of the high school’s Green Club. I joined the club to educate a large group of students who were already quite concerned with the environment. I provided notes on how to manage the project so there are tools to keep it going.”

She said leadership was an important focus area of her project. “Sometimes, leadership required more communication than I assumed. Effective communication is key in implementing any project. People are very busy. To get the things done that you want, you have to be clear and concise.”

Earning the Girl Scout Gold Award puts girls among an exceptional group of women who have used their knowledge and leadership skills to make a difference in the world. Some of the Gold Awardee benefits are:

  • A Girl Scout who has earned her Gold Award and enlists in the US armed forces, immediately rises one level in rank
     
  • Colleges and universities recognize the achievements and leadership abilities of Girl Scout Gold Award recipients by offering scholarship programs
     
  • Achievements of the Girl Scout Gold Award recipients are acknowledged by many government and non-profit organizations

Less than one percent of all Girl Scouts earn the Girl Scout Gold Award. With talent, passion, commitment and determination, they can make changes in their communities and impact people around the world. This year, 40 girls in eastern Missouri earned Gold Awards. They were recognized at a reception at Maritz in Fenton in June.

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