Girl Scout holds summer camp for homeless teens, earns Gold Award
HOUSTON (April 15, 2010) – Girl Scout Senior Michelle M. held a three day summer camp for teens of Westside Homeless Partnership 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 that I love spending time with kids of all ages,” says Michelle, a senior at Memorial High School. “I also learned the importance of friendship and support as I employed others to help me give back to our community.”
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 selected this project because during a visit I saw that middle school children were largely underserved,” explains Michelle. “I wanted to create a project that gave middle school children the chance to partake in camp without feeling as through they were at a daycare center.”
At the summer camp, Michelle strived to give middle school students hands-on projects. One activity included creating their own storybooks that were illustrated by volunteers and donated back to Westside Homeless Partnership. She led volunteers in creating a cookbook and teaching campers one recipe per day and gave them copies of the book at the end of camp. Campers also played sports and spoke to a local police officer about the importance of abstinence from risky behaviors.
“Michelle learned to plan, develop, promote and execute her everyday and long-term goals in earning her Gold Award,” says Pat M., Michelle’s mother. “It gave her the opportunity to exercise her strong leadership skills and accomplish her desire and willingness to help others.”
As an active member of Girl Scouts, Michelle has participated in a number of service projects with her troop. During the summer of 2009, she and her troop traveled to the WAGGGS World Centre Our Chalet in Switzerland. At Memorial High School, she is a member of volleyball, Mustang Outreach Bunch, Mu Alpha Theta and National Honor Society. She is also Memorial High School’s 2010 valedictorian. Following graduation she plans to attend the University of Texas Austin to study business.
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 18,000 adults in 26 southeast Texas counties. For more information call 1-800-392-4340 or visit www.gssjc.org.
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