What was the name and purpose of your gold award project?
My Girl Scout Gold Award project was called Firefighters Reunited. Ever since I was a little girl, my family was a part of our local fire company. My father is a Volunteer Firefighter, my mother is a Ladies Auxiliary Member, and I am a Junior Member. I grew up playing on the firetrucks and running around the station. When I was younger, the fire company would hold family events such as bowling and bingo nights to increase the camaraderie not only of the firefighters, but of their families. Unfortunately, over the years these events have dwindled down to nothing, and new members have joined that don’t have the same bonds that some of the other members do. I decided to change this by bringing back family-oriented events and reuniting firefighting families.
What sustainable impact did your Gold Award project have on the community?
My Girl Scout Gold Award project created an improved bond and enhanced trust in the first responders of my community. It takes many qualities to be able to run into a burning building, unknowing of what might await you once inside. Among these qualities are not only courage and bravery, but trust. You need to know that your comrades have your back, that they’re avidly waiting for you outside, and that if something goes wrong, they’ll be there. My project connected the more experienced fire company members with the newly introduced members so that they could create this trust. By hosting events, the firefighters and their families were able to spend time together and create a bond that will last a lifetime. I also made a book of the different events that I held and more ideas for the future so that the camaraderie the members have gained will continue to grow after I graduate.
What insights/takeaway did you gain from your project?
I took many things away in completing this project; one of the most important things that I learned was that I could genuinely make a difference in my community. Being able to see not only the firefighters bond but their families was incredibly rewarding, and knowing that it was because of something that I created made it all the more worthwhile. I’m so proud that I was able to revive and reinvent the camaraderie of the firefighting families now and for years to come, and better the trust between the first responders in my community.
What is your favorite memory of completing your Gold Award project?
My favorite memory of completing my Girl Scout Gold Award project is seeing all of the families spend time with their kids. I found myself getting very nostalgic as I looked on at the different events because I remember attending similar events with my family when I was younger. It was a very gratifying and surreal experience since I am now a graduating high school senior, and I was able to bring these events into the lives of children that were just like me. It’s terrifying to watch someone you love run into a burning building while all you can do is wait behind the safety tape, and I hope that I was able to decrease these worries for family members by increasing the camaraderie and trust in my community’s first responders.
Anything else you’d like to share?
As I prepare to graduate high school and move onto my future in college, I am so proud to look back and say that I was able to make a difference in my community. The camaraderie and trust in the first responders of my community has increased tremendously, and I am so glad to say that I had a big part in creating the bonds that will last a lifetime and reuniting fire fighting families. I’d like to thank my amazing mother for helping me with organizing the events that I hosted, my father for being my hero and risking his life countless times for others, my amazing Troop for all of their incredible support, and the Girl Scouts of Central and Southern NJ for giving me the chance to share my story.
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