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Amber Childres

Teen Renovates Church Playground, Earns Girl Scouts Gold Award

BEAUMONT, Texas (April 8, 2009) – Girl Scout Katie G. renovated the children’s playground at Calvary Baptist Church to earn the Girl Scouts of San Jacinto Council Gold Award, the highest award a Girl Scout can achieve. Less than 5 percent of girls who join Girl Scouts earn this recognition.

“Through my community service project, I learned that it is important to plan ahead, prioritize your time and enlist the help of others because you can’t do it all by yourself,” says Katie, a graduate of Westbrook High School.

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 worked in the nursery at Calvary Baptist Church for several years and noticed there was a need for more age-appropriate play areas,” explains Gaddis as to why she chose the project.

As part of her project, Gaddis recruited ten volunteers to help her renovate the playground to provide safe areas for children to play. She also created rules and guidelines that the children and teachers could follow.

“Katie learned the value of setting goals and seeing them through the completion,” Katie’s mother said. “She was able to organize her project, supervise the work and ultimately see the benefits of all her hard work.”

As part of a Girl Scout troop, Katie completed her Bronze and Silver Awards and enjoyed participating in the annual cookie sale. She also enjoyed camping, sailing and canoeing trips with her troop. Katie currently attends Texas A&M University where she is majoring in genetics.

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 65,000 girl members and 17,000 adults in 26 southeast Texas counties. For more information call 1-800-392-4340 or visit