St. Louis, MO – June 6, 2018 – Catherine Forbeck, a senior at Troy Buchanan High School, recently earned the Girl Scout Gold Award, the highest achievement in Girl Scouting. By earning the award, Forbeck exemplifies a leader who has transformed an idea or vision for change into an actionable plan with a measurable and sustainable impact. Forbeck will be recognized with other Gold Award Girl Scouts during a ceremony at Lindenwood University in St. Charles on Sunday, June 10, 2018.
Forbeck was hiking with a family member at Cuivre River State Park in Lincoln County, MO when she noticed several visitors were lacking the supplies needed to have a safe and educational hike. In response to this need, Forbeck created 10 backpacks with these necessary items. The five types of backpacks each have a theme; general, water, plant, a young naturalist and a reptile/amphibian.
Forbeck packed informational materials in the backpacks but also included tools likes first-aid kits, Cuivre River State Park field guides, binoculars, magnifying glasses and journals in each backpack. Several people helped Forbeck throughout her project but she said the funds used to purchase the backpack learning materials and tools were donated by Matt Peeples, a Western Commercial Corn Crop Lead at Monsanto. For interested hikers, the backpacks are available to be borrowed at the park’s front office and in case some of the items go missing, Forbeck said she bought extra supplies to ensure the backpacks continue to be sustained at the park.
“I created the backpacks for the visitors,” Forbeck said. “[Because of the backpacks] Visitors are safer hiking and they’re learning more about the Cuivre River State Park. By learning more about the park, the visitors can help protect the park too.”
The Girl Scout Gold Award requires determination, communication, time management and a desire to make a difference. This distinguished award challenges girls to change the world and solve a community issue; the process requires at least 80 hours of service and often spans months or even years.
Less than one percent of all Girl Scouts earn the 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 Award Girl Scout benefits are:
- Immediately rising one rank when enlisting in the US Armed Forces
- Earning scholarships from colleges and universities
- Recognition from many government and non-profit organizations
- Certificates and letters from Girl Scouts of the USA, Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri, United States Navy and the South St. Louis Marine Corps League Auxiliary
- Receiving a Sacagawea Gold Dollar from the United States Mint
Earning the Gold Award is just one of the amazing things girls can do as part of Girl Scouts. To join Girl Scouts or learn more about volunteering, please visit girlscoutsem.org/join.