On June 14, a delegation of local Girl Scouts attended a special Gold Award Celebration event hosted by Girl Scouts of the USA in Washington D.C. as part of the 100th anniversary of the highest award in Girl Scouts. While visiting the nation's capital, the Girl Scouts visited with Representative Rob Wittman and had the opportunity to speak with him about current events in Girl Scouts, as well as things that the organization is taking action on to address issues that girls face today.
Girl Scouts Darden Purrington, who earned the Gold Award last August, and Anne Fentress, who is currently working on earning her Gold Award, shared with Representative Wittman about the projects they completed to earn the award. Purrington, who has an interest in science and math, developed an app to help sailors practice plays. Fentress's project focused on advocacy efforts to end cosmetic testing on animals.
Purrington and Fentress were joined by Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast CEO Tracy Keller and Board Chair Cheryle Mack. Keller and Mack talked to Representative Wittman about how House Bill 942, passed this year to allow Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts and other youth serving organization better access to schools for the purpose of making students and their families more aware of programs offered by these g0072oups, is helping them make more connections in the community.
"House Bill 942 has given us a wonderful opportunity for us to share what we do to enhance classroom learning with local educators," Keller said. "We are now focusing on finding ways to partner with schools and gain their cooperation to bring Girl Scouting to more girls."
While meeting with Representative Wittman, the Girl Scouts also talked to him about their STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) initiatives, including their efforts to provide girls with opportunities to participate in hands-on STEM activities. In the coming months, Girl Scouts will present STEM workshops in partnership with Norfolk State University, Nauticus and the local chapter of the Society of Women Engineers.
While in Washington D.C. to celebrate the Gold Award, the Girl Scout delegation attended a reception that was held on Capitol Hill in the Cannon Building where legislators spoke, including Virginia's Senator Kaine. More than 400 Girl Scouts representatives from nearly all of the 112 councils nationwide were present, which gave attention to an award that the Girl Scouts hope gains more awareness among legislators, educators and those in the public. Compared to the Boy Scout Eagle award, the Girl Scout Gold Award requires more than 80 hours of dedicated time to a community service project that makes an impact on a girl's community and is sustainable.
Earning the Gold Award is just one of the amazing thigs girls do as Girl Scouts. For more information about joining or volunteering, visit www.gsccc.org.
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