St. Louis, MO – April 7, 2020 – Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri is pleased to announce Kaitlin Fritsche, a graduate of Timberland High School, has recently earned the mark of the truly remarkable – the Girl Scout Gold Award. This young change-maker demonstrated extraordinary leadership through a measurable and sustainable community service project.
With more than 1,390 species of bats in the world, these animals play a vital role in the health of natural ecosystems and human economies, according to Bat Conservation International. However, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature considers one-third of the bat population threatened. As a lifelong Girl Scout, Fritsche wanted to do her part to protect these endangered species, so, to earn her Gold Award, she created a bat habitat and educated her community on their importance.
“Born into a family of avid outdoor-loving Missourians, I witnessed the plight of bats in a public cave in Northern Missouri from White-nose syndrome,” Fritsche said. “I thought if I could use the gold award as a platform to raise awareness of bat conservation, then it was my responsibility to do so.”
Fritsche built 25, multi-chamber bat houses using recycled wood collected from the Wentzville Millworks. She placed the houses in trees surrounding the outdoor classroom at Timberland High School, as well as other area schools, local parks and farms. Fritsche then created and provided learning materials for elementary and middle school students that were approved by school districts for use in science classes. Finally, Fritsche worked with the vocational tech department to create blueprints for the bat houses to be a part of the yearly curriculum for high school students. Fritsche is currently pursuing her bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of Missouri – St. Louis, after which she plans to get her masters in conversation biology and eventually become a wildlife conversation biologist.
The Gold Award is earned by a high-school-aged Girl Scout who has dedicated on average more than 80 hours to address an issue she’s passionate about in a way that produces meaningful and permanent change. Whether it’s on a local, national or global level, Gold Award Girl Scouts, like Fritsche, provide innovative solutions to pressing and relevant challenges.
Gold Award Girl Scouts don’t just change the world for the better, they change it for good. On a national level, Girl Scouts have answered the call to drive lasting, impactful change in the areas of STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics), legislation and education. 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.