Elly Olson, daughter of Emily and David Olson of Williamsburg, has earned the Girl Scout Gold Award, the highest honor and achievement a girl can earn in Girl Scouting. Elly has been a Girl Scout for 11 years and is currently a senior at Jamestown High School.
For her project, Elly created a sewing club at Walsingham Academy to teach children a way to creatively engage their minds without spending time in front of a screen. She also wanted to teach children an important skills that they can use throughout their life.
Elly's sewing club met twice a month at the school. Elly first taught the club members the basics of hand sewing and how to sew a button onto fabric. She then taught them how to use a sewing machine, and the club members made placemats, Christmas stockings, pillows, bags and other projects.
"I was incredibly impressed that the students became inspired to be creative not only during the club meetings, but also at home," Elly said. "I began sending home needles, thread, buttons and scraps of fabric because the children loved sewing."
At the end of the school year, each club member used their new skills to design a quilt square that Elly sewed together and presented to the school to hang on the wall to encourage children to engage in activities to stretch their creative thinking. Each club member was also given their own sewing kit to continue mastering their sewing skills at home.
The Gold Award requires girls to identify an issue in their community and carry-out a Take Action project to address the matter through leadership work. Nationwide, less than 6 percent of eligible Girl Scouts earn the Gold Award, which adds Elly to an elite group of female leaders across the country with the honor.
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