Girl Scouts of Western New York presented a 2019 Gold Award to Megan Reilly, of Rochester, in recognition of her project, “Springdale Farm Scavenger Hunt.”
“I installed a scavenger hunt at Springdale Farm in Spencerport,” Reilly said. “I incorporated sign language into each of my sustainable signs. This farm is run by Heritage Christian Services and is open to the public. I chose this project because my family used to visit the farm and picnic there when I was a little girl.
“I worked with many people from the farm, including the director, farm manager, camp coordinator and the IT director. I designed all of the signs and met with a printer. The signs were graciously donated by Phoenix Graphics. You can find my project listed on the Springdale Farm website under attractions.
“This project has impacted my community by including the deaf community and inspiring others to learn some sign language. My hope is to make people comfortable with another form of communication and help to break language barriers. During my time at Springdale Farm, I also volunteered at the petting zoo and at their summer camps, where we were able to incorporate my scavenger hunt and teach the children sign language. It was a lot of fun to see my project in action.”
Reilly will be recognized at the Gold Award ceremony on June 1. The Gold Award is the highest award in Girl Scouts.
“Through Girl Scouts, I had the opportunity to do so many different things since I was little,” Reilly said. “When I was younger I really enjoyed the arts and crafts, and field trips. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve enjoyed the service projects and our trip to Costa Rica. It was an amazing opportunity.”
A Scout’s project should be something they can be passionate about in thought, deed and action, as well as encompass organizational, leadership and networking skills. It should fulfill a need within their community, and create change that has the potential to be ongoing or sustainable.
Approximately 80 hours of community service are involved in the project. The Gold Award qualifies the Scout for scholarship opportunities and to enter the military a full rank higher than her peers.
The Gold Award requires a Scout to identify an issue and investigate it to understand what can be done to address the problem. Scouts then form teams to act as their support system, including a project adviser close to the issue who is not a troop leader or family member.
Scouts create plans to ensure they know what steps they must tackle while working on their projects. They submit project proposals to their local Girl Scout councils and, once accepted, work through the steps of the plan, utilizing the support team where necessary. The project is used to educate and inspire others about the cause they are addressing.
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