By Breanne Krager
Animal-lover Caitlyn Lopez recently earned her Gold Award from the Girl Scouts–Arizona Cactus-Pine Council (GSACPC). It is the highest and most prestigious award a girl can earn in Girl Scouting. While often compared to the Boy Scouts’ Eagle Scout merit, the Gold Award requires sustainable change. Girls who pursue their Gold Award aspire to transform an idea and vision for change into an actionable plan with measurable, sustainable, and far-reaching results.
To earn the Gold Award, a Girl Scout must spend over 80 hours working on a project that addresses a community problem, one that is important to the individual girl. Overall, the process usually takes 18 to 24 months and often involves seeking in-kind donations and recruiting volunteers. For most of these girls, this award is the culmination of more than 10 years in the Girl Scouts. Gold Awardees distinguish themselves in the college admission process, earn college scholarships, and enter the military one rank higher. Nationally, only about one million Girl Scouts in grades 9-12 have earned the Gold Award or its equivalent since 1916.
For Lopez’s Gold Award project, she made it a goal to educate the community on the importance and benefits of spaying/neutering their pets. She also wanted to help those in financial need to spay/neuter their pets.
To do this, Lopez distributed fliers throughout the community and hosted informational sessions on the health benefits of spaying and neutering, as well as how to obtain financial assistance for spaying and neutering. In addition, Lopez held a blanket drive for adopted cats.
Caitlyn Lopez was one of 22 Gold Award recipients from central and northern Arizona that were honored at the Girl Scout High Award Ceremony, Saturday, March 24, 2018, at Arizona State University.
“Each and every year, our Gold Award Girl Scouts continue to amaze me,” said Tamara Woodbury, CEO of GSACPC. “By earning the Gold Award, these young women are demonstrating incredible courage, confidence and character, and that they are ready to become tomorrow’s leaders – in our communities, our country, and the world.”
Girl Scouts—Arizona Cactus-Pine Council (GSACPC)
In partnership with more than 10,000 adult volunteers, GSACPC serves 21,000 girls grades K-12 in more than 90 communities across central and northern Arizona. Since 1936, GSACPC has helped girls develop leadership skills and tools for success in a rapidly changing environment. We know that given the opportunity, every girl can become a leader, act confidently on her values, and connect with her community. Girl Scouts helps young women grow courageous and strong through girl- driven programs, ranging from summer camp, to troop activities and product sales. For more information, visit www.girlscoutsaz.org, like them on Facebook or follow them on Instagram.
This article originally appeared in our July/August 2018 issue.