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Amber Childres

Girl Scout Shares Indian Dance Traditions with Community, Earns Gold Award

SUGAR LAND, Texas (June 2009) – Girl Scout Senior Sneha D. shared aspects of Indian culture by teaching a group of women traditional Indian dances and performing for residents at several retirement homes throughout the community. The project earned her 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.

“I decided to do this particular project because I wanted to spread the traditions of Indian culture throughout the community,” explains Sneha. “One of the biggest Indian traditions is a dance form called Kathak, which means ‘the art of storytelling.’ I chose to have the girls perform the dance in retirement homes because residents there have fewer opportunities to experience something such as this.”

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.

“Through my community service project, I learned how important it is to stay organized, especially when it comes to coordinating a big event,” says Sneha, who will begin her senior year at Dulles High School in the fall.

As part of her project, Sneha recruited a group of girls who wanted to learn traditional Indian dancing. She held classes on Mondays, sometimes for up to three hours, to teach the footwork and hand actions of three different dances in the Kathak style. Sneha then scouted out three different retirement communities where the girls performed what they had learned. She also gave speeches about Indian culture and brought along props and Indian jewelry to share with the audience.

“I think Sneha has shown commitment and responsibility while achieving her Gold Award,” says Reema D., Sneha’s mother. “I am really proud that my daughter has stayed in Girl Scouts since Kindergarten and remained focused throughout her Girl Scouting years. Her project has greatly benefited the community.”

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