O’FALLON – Two area Girl Scouts have received the highest individual achievement the organization bestows, the Girl Scout Gold Award.
Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois (GSSI) recently announced Kira Mantz from O’Fallon and Sarah Pavlisin from Lebanon had earned the Girl Scout Gold Award.
For her Girl Scout Gold Award project, called Waste Not, Want Not, Kira partnered with State Park Food Pantry. She realized there was a need for an inventory control system for when the pantry moved into their new building. Kira created an operation system, purchased tables, wrote a training notebook with all the plans, labeled shelves and typed food safety information. In addition, she hosted a flash mob/toiletry drive, started a blog and held a work day for her troop.
This Girl Scout Gold Award project was a great learning experience for Kira.
“Most importantly, I appreciate all the leadership skills I gained while in Girl Scouts; they helped me through the entire project,” said Kira.
Kira is the daughter of Ryan and Becky Mantz. She is currently a sophomore at O’Fallon Township High School. Kira has been a Girl Scout for ten years.
Sarah’s Girl Scout Gold Award project, called The Joy of Reading, involved teaming up with a special education teacher in St. Louis who was looking to construct a library with books that met the needs of her students. Not only did Sarah want to create the library where these students could read, but she also wanted to make it a safe haven from the stresses of school work and life. Sarah created sensory bags filled with trinkets and balloons filled with flour. She also, with the help of a handyman, built two bookshelves to hold all of the books, toys and games for the library. In addition, Sarah supplied the library with beanbag chairs, a fish tank and fun mood lighting to make the space more appealing and kid friendly.
Sarah’s Girl Scout Gold Award project was a very rewarding experience.
“I learned that even though the road to completing this project was difficult, the final product was definitely worth all of the time and effort. The children’s bright smiles and bubbling excitement at the library’s grand opening ceremony made me realize that my project meant so much to them,” said Sarah.
Sarah is the daughter of James and Pennie Pavlisin. She is currently a senior at O’Fallon Township High School. Sarah has been a Girl Scout for 13 years.
The Girl Scout Gold Award, the highest award a Girl Scout can earn, recognizes a Girl Scout’s commitment to excellence as she develops skills and values to meet present and future challenges in her life.
To earn the Girl Scout Gold Award, a Girl Scout Senior or Girl Scout Ambassador must design and carry out a project that fulfills a need within a girl’s community, creates change, and is sustainable. The project must be completed with a suggested minimum of 80 hours of work. Only about five percent of eligible girls earn the prestigious Gold Award.
Girl Scouts of the U.S.A. is the largest voluntary organization for girls in the world. Its sole focus is to meet the needs of all girls, ages 5-17, from diverse racial, ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds. Today’s Girl Scouts not only enjoy camping and crafts, but they also explore math and science and learn about diversity, good citizenship, leadership and teamwork. Girl Scouting is the place where girls experience the fun, friendship and power of girls together.
Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois is a not-for-profit organization supported by various United Ways throughout the region. Girl Scouts is a Proud Partner of United Way. For more information, call Tricia Higgins at (618)242-5079.