St. Louis, MO – December 6, 2016 – Girl Scouts Claire Gibbs and Molly Lombardo, both recent graduates of Mehlville High School, were among 42 young women in eastern Missouri to earn the Girl Scout Gold Award this year. 2016 marks the 100th anniversary of the Gold Award, the highest achievable award in Girl Scouting.
Gibbs found a way to incorporate her love of nature and learning while impacting a place she knows and cares about. Gibbs cultivated and designed an outdoor classroom at Trautwein Elementary School, the school she attended, for students and teachers to enjoy. She cleaned up the overgrown plants and weeds in the area, mulched the ground and painted stepping stones with letters and numbers. Students and teachers at the school will learn about the environment in the outdoor classroom area as well as take care of it.
“I learned that sometimes your plans have to be adapted to a changing situation,” Gibbs said. “I learned to work around the changing weather, different ideas for the design of the classroom and the time of day to not interfere with school hours.”
A lifelong Girl Scout, Lombardo found a way to incorporate her passion for healthy living into the curriculum at Assumption Catholic Church’s early childhood center. She planted a garden with the children that featured lettuce, radishes, tomatoes, carrots and peas, and led hands-on experiences to teach the young students about the importance of healthy eating as well as the science behind how things grow. She also included milkweed plants in the garden to attract monarch butterflies and teach the children about nature and the life cycle of insects. Once the garden had produced vegetables, the kids took home samples to share with their families. Representatives from the church’s gardening club and Missouri Botanical Garden will maintain the garden.
When asked about what she learned from this project, Lombardo said “I learned leadership skills and how to guide team members. They looked up to me to keep everyone in good spirits and for motivation to complete the task at hand.”
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