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St. Louis Girl Scout gives back to nation’s heroes


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St. Louis, MO – March 15, 2019 – Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri is pleased to announce Lauren Chong, a Lutheran High School South graduate, has recently earned the Girl Scout Gold Award, the highest award in Girl Scouting.

Open only to girls in high school, the Gold Award is the most prestigious award in the world for G.I.R.L.s (Go-getters, Innovators, Risk-takers, Leaders) TM —and the most difficult to earn. Girls who earn the award have generated long-lasting solutions for real-world challenges at local, national and global levels. These remarkable young women took matters into their own hands and have made a difference the worlds of STEM (science, technology, engineering and math), education and legislation. Gold Award Girl Scouts like, Chong, are creating a brighter future for us all! Chong will be recognized with other Gold Award Girl Scouts during a special ceremony at Lindenwood University in St. Charles on Sunday, June 9, 2019.

When Chong started thinking about earning her Gold Award, she identified a need that had not yet been addressed at a local veterans home. She learned some Missouri Veterans Home residents with a green-thumb could not garden because they are wheelchair-bound and unable to maneuver the traditional low-planting beds. To earn the Gold Award, Chong designed and constructed raised garden beds providing these heroic individuals the opportunity to participate in an outdoor recreational activity that ultimately helps lessen depression symptoms, acts as stress relief and is a low-impact form of exercise.

For her Gold Award project to come to fruition, Chong organized a money-earning event at a local middle school where she raised enough funds to purchase lumber, soil, plants, and the tools needed to build the new garden bed. After building a test version at her house, Chong felt ready to construct the real thing at the organization. Chong, with the help of individuals at the Missouri Veterans Home, worked with a local landscaping company to determine the best location for the new garden bed at the residence.

After installing and planting, Chong left, leaving dozens of the home’s residents to enjoy their new raised garden bed. This G.I.R.L. has succeeded in generating a positive change in her North St. Louis County community that will be used for years to come!

For more than 100 years, Gold Award Girl Scouts have completed extraordinary projects in eastern Missouri leaving an enduring impact on individuals, organizations, neighbors, schools and their communities. Earning the Gold Award represents the culmination of at least 80 hours of work spanning months, sometimes years. Some of the benefits of becoming a Gold Award Girl Scout 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

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.