St. Louis, MO – Sept. 9, 2016 – Two Lafayette High School graduates, Abby Murphy and Kambria Rapp, were among 42 young women in eastern Missouri to earn the Girl Scout Gold Award this year. 2016 marks the 100 th anniversary of the Gold Award, the highest award in Girl Scouting.
While volunteering at Mercy Hospital several summers ago, Murphy realized just how stressful, tedious and boring a hospital stay can be for patients. While researching ways to address this, she discovered that watching movies can lower anxiety and blood pressure levels. Murphy created a movie lending library so hospital patients and their families could relieve stress and escape their surroundings through entertainment. The movie cart included approximately 150 DVDs for patients to borrow and watch. Murphy’s project also included monthly movie nights for the patients and their families, complete with popcorn and drinks.
Now a student at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, Murphy plans to pursue a career as a pediatric surgeon. She said completing this project to earn her Gold Award helped her solidify her plans to enter pediatrics.
“I became more patient and gained important time management skills that will help me in medical school,” she said.
For her Gold Award, Rapp, a sophomore at Missouri University of Science and Technology, sought to help the declining bee population. Many people are unaware of the alarming phenomenon happening around the globe, frequently called colony collapse disorder. Because bees play a vital role in agriculture, this phenomenon could have astronomical effects on food production worldwide. Rapp led a team to create a garden at the Wildwood YMCA to attract bees, complete with bee houses, a brochure and video about the garden.
“Bees pollinate more than $20 billion worth of U.S. crops every year,” Rapp said. “By planting the garden and installing the bee houses, I was working to increase bee population in the community. The video and brochure inform the community of the importance of bees and how people can help.”
The Gold Award is the highest national award a Girl Scout Senior or Ambassador, girls in grade 9-12, can earn. Attaining the Girl Scout Gold Award requires a significant amount of time 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.
Less than one percent of all Girl Scouts earn the Girl Scout Gold Award, putting them 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