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Amber Childres
(713) 292-0361

Girl Scout monitors local water quality, earns Gold Award

KINGWOOD, Texas (Oct. 2009) – Girl Scout Senior Rachel Snavely spent nearly two months monitoring water quality of the upper San Jacinto River for World Water Monitoring Day (WWMD) to earn the Girl Scouts of San Jacinto Council Gold Award, the highest award a Girl Scout can achieve. Less than five percent of girls who join Girl Scouts earn this recognition.

“I learned about the importance of clean water in our local rivers and streams,” says Rachel, a student at Kingwood Park High School. “The San Jacinto River is one of the major water sources of the greater Houston area, and we should all know what’s in it.”

Earning the Gold Award is a significant honor that requires recipients to demonstrate outstanding leadership skills, career planning, community involvement and personal development. It takes more than 100 service hours and two to three years of intensive work to complete the award requirements, which include planning and completing a project that is a service to the community.

“I have always been concerned about the environment,” explains Rachel as to why she chose the project. “When I learned the San Jacinto River was placed on the endangered rivers list, I became very interested in water quality.”

Rachel and a team of 20 volunteers tested the river for pH and dissolved oxygen levels, temperatures, turbidity and microinvertibrates inhabiting the area. Testing was done once a week for a 7-week period. Rachel then uploaded the data to WWMDs Web site. The organization is an international education and outreach program that builds public awareness and involvement in protecting water resources.

“We are quite proud that Rachel took on this project, involved fellow students and followed through with it,” says Rachel’s mother. “Girl Scouts has provided an excellent opportunity for Rachel to have leadership skills, work with others and be involved.”

As an active member of Girl Scouts, Rachel serves as a council delegate for her service unit. At Kingwood Park High School, she participates in varsity softball and is president of the Service Learning Board. Next year she plans to attend college to study earth sciences and marine biology.

Girl Scouts of the USA is the world's preeminent organization for girls, with a membership of more than 3.7 million girls and adults. Girl Scouting builds girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place. Chartered by GSUSA to provide Girl Scouting locally, Girl Scouts of San Jacinto Council is one of the largest Girl Scout councils in the country serving more than 72,000 girl members and 17,000 adults in 26 southeast Texas counties. For more information call 1-800-392-4340 or visit www.gssjc.org.

GSSJC Pluralism Statement
Embracing and promoting pluralism is an integral part of every activity and plan of Girl Scouts of San Jacinto Council, not disconnected or separate projects. Only individuals willing to accept and be educated about the basic tenet that Girl Scouting is for all girls may serve in volunteer leadership or staff positions.

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