Beaumont Girl Scout works with Village Creek State Park to earn Gold Award

Beaumont, TX (November, 2011) - Girl Scouts, San Jacinto Council, LogoGirl Scout Marisa P. researched Native American's medicinal uses of native plants in her area, then marked a trail at Village Creek State Park and created an informational pamphlet to earn Girl Scouts of the USA's Gold Award, the highest award a Girl Scout can receive. Less than five percent of girls who join Girl Scouts achieve this national recognition.

"I learned about how the Native Americans used plants in the area to survive," said Marisa, a senior at Monsignor Kelly Catholic 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 chose this project because I have always been interested in the way Native Americans lived, and I enjoy hiking at Village Creek State Park," said Marisa.

For her project, Marisa researched how Native Americans used native plants for medicine, then compiled that information in a pamphlet for Village Creek State Park. To help state park visitors better identify the plants, she led a team of volunteers in constructing and installing markers along trails.

"Marisa learned both technical and management skills," said Shannon P., Marisa's mother. "She learned to operate a power saw, a router and honed her publishing skills. She learned project management and learned to write professional emails."

Marisa has been a member of Girl Scouts for 12 years. At Monsignor Kelly Catholic High School she is a member of Key Club, Science Club, National Honor Society and Mu Alpha Theta. She has received the Bausch and Lomb Honorary Science Award and has been named an AP Scholar and National Merit Commended Scholar. Following graduation she plans to attend college to study biochemistry and hopes to get her doctorate to become a medical researcher.

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 70,000 girl members and 19,000 adults in 26 southeast Texas counties. For more information call 1-800-392-4340 or visit

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