Four local Girl Scouts earn prestigious Gold Award

Olivia Ares, Emily Morgan, Carolina Pack, Riane Olsen

The Girl Scouts of the Southern Appalachians have announced the 2021 Gold Award recipients in upper East Tennessee. Four of the 29 recipients are from Johnson City and Washington County.

Since 1916, thousands of Girl Scouts across the country have earned the Girl Scouts’ highest honor, now called the Girl Scout Gold Award, for demonstrating extraordinary leadership and making sustainable change in their communities. Nationally, only 6 percent of all eligible Girl Scouts achieve the Gold Award.

“Our communities have been positively impacted by the vision, leadership and dedication of each of our Gold Award girls,” said Lynne Fugate, CEO of the Girl Scouts of the Southern Appalachians. “This high honor required hours of hard work and the leadership skills that they have been developing during their years as a Girl Scout.”

Olivia Ares of Johnson City addressed the lack of representation of women in Johnson City’s historical records and created inclusive educational material and a historical marker system. She also created a website for the community to learn about women’s history.
Emily Morgan of Jonesborough worked with the Washington County Humane Society and Feral Friends of Greene County to help educate the community about feral cat colonies. She created videos explaining how to build shelters for feral cats to help reduce overpopulation and help control the feral cat community in the Tri-Cities.

Carolina Pack of Johnson City created a safe and comfortable space for new mothers to nurse their infants at First Christian Church and also renovated the infant nursery. Pack wanted to raise awareness about the importance of supporting new parents and making nursing accessible for new mothers.

Riane Olsen of Johnson City coordinated with local sewing enthusiasts to create 500 face masks for the community. Each face mask came with two informational cards about how to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and directed people to Olsen’s website to participate in a survey.

The Girl Scout Gold Award represents exceptional achievement in leadership development, positive values and service. Only Girl Scout Seniors and Ambassadors are eligible for the Gold Award, and before they can pursue it, they must meet prerequisites, including completing a Take Action Project or earning the Girl Scout Silver Award, which entails a girl-led project to improve the neighborhood or community. 

At a minimum requirement of 80 hours, most girls spend between one and two years on Gold Award projects. A Gold Award Girl Scout’s achievements prime her for the fast track when it comes to college admissions and make her an outstanding candidate for academic scholarships and other financial awards. In addition, Gold Award Girl Scouts who join the armed services even enter at a rank above other recruits.


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