Girl Scouts Western Oklahoma recently recognized Edmond Girl Scouts for earning the top leadership awards for their grade levels at the annual Girl Awards Ceremony. Among the 191 Girl Scouts receiving awards were Edmond Girl Scouts Sara Beth Anderson and sisters Anna Johnson and Sara Johnson.
In addition to the highest and most prestigious award in Girl Scouts, the Gold Award, Silver and Bronze awards also were given to girls from all across the 39-county region that GSWESTOK serves.
The ceremony, an annual tradition at Girl Scouts, was at the University of Central Oklahoma’s Nigh University Center in Edmond. Keynote speaker was Shannon Evers, the Chief Executive Officer for Girl Scouts Western Oklahoma. Serving as emcee was Maggie Stokes, co-anchor of KOCO 5 News in the Morning.
The Gold Award is a national award signifying outstanding accomplishments in areas of leadership, community service, career planning and personal development. It sets the foundation for a lifetime of active citizenship. Girls who achieve their Gold Award have worked strenuously on project of their choice. The project is something that fulfills a need within a girl’s community (whether local or global), creates change and hopefully, is something that becomes ongoing.
Edmond Gold Award Recipients for 2013
Sarah Beth Anderson is a Juliette Girl Scout and she created an ongoing reading incentive program for the children at Integris Mental Health who don’t read at the suggested reading for their age group. The project focused on encouraging younger and older readers to enjoy the magic and wonder of books while improving their reading skills. The students worked to reach certain levels, and when they did they received prizes. Friends and a younger troop helped with the program that lasted about a month.
“We used books already in the library and purchased additional books with donations,” Sarah Beth said. She is a student at Edmond Memorial High School and her parents are Janet and Mike Anderson.
Anna Johnson is from Troop 113 and she chose to do a project that challenged the special needs children at Special CARE to learn through their senses. The Sensory and Butterfly Garden that Anna developed allowed children with unique challenges to learning to flourish through using each of the five senses.
Anna said she has always liked to work with special needs children, and her mother took her to Special CARE. They discussed the idea of a garden that the children could use to develop their senses. Anna said she worked 80 to 90 hours with the help of her twin sister Sarah, who is also a Gold Award winner, and some of her friends.
“For the sense of touch we planted lamb’s ear,” Anna said, “and for taste, we planted strawberries; for sight we planted really colorful flowers; for smell, we planted rosemary and lavender. I came up with the idea of hanging wind chimes for sound.”
Anna is a senior at Heritage Hall and her parents are Carol and Mike Johnson.
Sarah Johnson is from Troop 113 and her project worked with teens in her community to provide monthly activities for the children at Special CARE. Her Teen Service Board project focused on providing an outlet for teens to volunteer and showing Special CARE students the giving spirit of their community.
She and her mother discussed the idea and Sarah said since she is on other teen boards she decided to start one. Her twin sister, Anna, and her younger brother helped as well as friends and students from other schools. Her board ended up with 30 members.
“We met once a month and each time the activities we did were different,” Sarah said. “We celebrated special events. For instance in February we made Valentine sacks. At Christmas we made gingerbread houses and on some days we had movie day. We helped about 20 children over a 10-month period.”
Sarah said she enjoyed learning from the children of different ages with different disabilities and making new friends. She is a senior at Heritage Hall and her parents are Carol and Mike Anderson.