Girl Scouts of WNY announces Megan Gearinger as a 2019 Gold Award Girl Scout

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Megan Gearinger

Megan Gearinger

Girl Scouts of Western New York is proud to announce Megan Gearinger of Rochester, NY, as a 2019 Gold Award Girl Scout. Gearinger’s project was titled “Build Friendship, Grow with Love.”

Gearinger explained, “My project was completed at the Gymnastics Training Center of Rochester (GTC) in Penfield. Sadly, teenage suicide has become a reality in several local schools in recent years, including an athlete at GTC. Teens who feel personally connected to others are less likely to commit suicide. The intention of my project was to build a sense of community on the Girls Gymnastics Team at GTC, so that all girls would feel accepted and cared for. This was accomplished through three aspects of my project. A Card Creation Center was started. This is a box filled with homemade stencils, cards, and markers. Teammates were paired into Big Buddies and Little Buddies. These Buddies send each other cards for birthdays, before/after meets, or for weekly encouragement. This system has been highly successful in building friendships and team support. A wooden bench was built for the gym, as a place for teammates and families to gather and socialize. Finally, a perennial memorial flower garden was planted near the parking lot entrance to help create a welcoming atmosphere and to honor those from the GTC family who have passed away. Through this project the GTC Girls Team has become much more connected and these friendships continue to blossom, even outside of the gym.”

Gearinger added, “Girl Scouts has provided educational and recreational experiences I would not have otherwise been exposed to and has offered leadership opportunities that I may not have taken advantage of. Sometimes I had to leave my comfort zone and that helped me learn and grow as an individual.”

Gearinger will receive her Gold Award at the Gold Award Ceremony on June 1, 2019. The Girl Scout Gold Award is the most prestigious award in the world for girls.

The Gold Award project is the culmination of all the work a girl puts into “going for the Gold.” A Girl Scout’s project should be something that a girl can be passionate about—in thought, deed, and action that encompasses organizational, leadership, and networking skills. The project should also fulfill a need within a girl’s community (whether local or global) and create change that has the potential to be on-going or sustainable. Approximately 80 hours of community service are involved in the project. Completion of the Gold Award also qualifies the Girl Scout for special scholarship opportunities and to enter the military a full rank higher than her peers. 

The Girl Scout Gold Award, the most prestigious award in the world for girls, acknowledges the power behind each recipient’s dedication to not only empowering and bettering herself, but also to making the world a better place for others. These young women are courageous leaders and visionary change makers.

The Gold Award requires a Girl Scout to identify an issue and investigate it to understand what can be done to address the problem. The girl then forms a team to act as a support system, including a project advisor close to the issue who is not a troop leader or family member, while she leads the project. The Girl Scout creates a plan to ensure they know what steps they must tackle while working on the project. The Girl Scout submits a proposal for her project to her local Girl Scout council. After acceptance, the girl begins to work through the steps of their plan utilizing the assistance of her support team where necessary. Lastly, the project is used to educate and inspire others about the cause they are addressing.

To learn more, visit gswny.org.

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