All The Gold is NOT in California

Butterfly ! Butterfly ! Butterfly !

Have Net Will Travel !

Have Net Will Travel !

“Good as Gold !” The Gold Standard ? So, gold is good, right ? What is a Gold Award then ? A Girl Scout Gold Award is the equivalent to a Boy Scouts Eagle Award. It is a prestigious level earned by less than 5% of all girl scouts. Senior Ashley Armstrong was able to accomplish this amazing feat.

Ashley joined Girl Scouts in 4th grade and is currently finishing her final year. Troop 70592 loses girls every year, but Ashley never thought of quitting. Her freshman year is when the troop went to a training class to learn about the project and it seemed very overwhelming at the time. Making up an original project that will be sustainable in the community, demonstrating strong leadership skills, and having a total of 80 hours towards the project is just as hard as it sounds.

Ashley wanted her project to be building bird houses to help give the birds in the area somewhere to stay and keep warm. When she went to the Girl Scout council they denied her project idea. Many girls’ original ideas are shut down and members on the board help the scout create a better project. It can be pretty discouraging being told no, but Ashley did not let that stop her.

She called the local park district and told them her intentions of earning her Gold Award. They gave her the wonderful idea of tagging monarch butterflies and moving plants to make a butterfly garden.  Tagging monarch butterflies would help biologists track migration patterns and assess their population.  Ashley collected milk weed seeds, the only plant the butterflies consume, in hopes of bringing the beautiful creatures back to the Geauga Park District. She ran into some problems communicating with the employees at the park, as they were not very responsive when she was trying to set everything up. After countless phone calls and meetings, everything was ready to go, however.

On October 16th 2015 the main project went into action at Frohring Meadows. Ashley had a team of about ten people, including family, friends, and members of her girl scout troop. To create a new butterfly garden, Ashley put a tag on all of the plants that needed to be moved into the new area. Carefully removing the roots from the soil was a challenge. The day consisted of hours of everyone digging and planting.

Once they were all in the ground, the plants needed to be cut so they would be able to grow next season. Mother Nature was not their side, as rain started to pour. Luckily, the planting and trimming were almost done and the finishing touches just had to be made. The project came to a close shortly after and the garden looked beautiful.

Ashley said, “I’m happy to have completed my Gold Award, overcoming my difficulties.”  The hard work paid off because earning her Gold Award is such a huge accomplishment and it will stay with her forever.