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Crystal Simmons
(713) 292-0361

Girl Scout restocks food pantry to earn Gold Award

FRIENDSWOOD, Texas (Oct. 1, 2010) – Girl Scout Ambassador Danielle G. hosted a junior high transition event to benefit the Friendswood Friends Church food pantry, and Girl Scout Ambassador Erin Ash improved the playground at Bales Intermediate School to earn their Girl Scouts of San Jacinto Council Gold Awards, the highest award a Girl Scout can achieve. Less than five percent of girls who join Girl Scouts earn this recognition.

“[I learned] that I work well with children,” says Danielle, a senior at Friendswood High School. “[I also learned] that when you’re heading up a project, people depend on you to lead in all areas.”

“[I learned that] mainly, plans change,” says Erin, a junior at School of the Woods High School. “Things don’t always go as expected.”

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.

“For my Silver Award with my troop, we did a Fun Run and started a Food Pantry for Friendswood Friends Church,” explains Danielle. “I wanted to help stock the food pantry.”

For her project, Danielle invited about 30 students in the fifth through eighth grades to a five-hour event to introduce the different age groups.

“I remembered when I was going in to junior high school having to meet new students from the other school, and I thought having a fun environment to meet each other would make it easier form them when school started,” said Gaeckler.

The entrance fee was $5 or five cans or food. All proceeds went to Friendswood Friends Church to restock the food pantry.

“Danielle learned a lot of leadership in this project,” says Carl and Star Gaeckler, Danielle’s parents. “She had to make sales, call to ask for donations, coordinate schedules with volunteers and keep them on task. This took coming out of her comfort zone, but [she] found it became easier each time. I was so surprised when during her project there was an electrical storm in which we lost power. The kids were left in total dark, screaming. It was priceless. Dani has since changed her after school job from Kroger to a nanny position.”

As an active member of Girl Scouts, Danielle also earned her Bronze and Silver Awards. Following graduation, she plans to attend college to receive her teaching degree.

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