According to the Girl Scout Research Institute’s (GSRI) report, The Power of the Girl Scout Gold Award: Excellence in Leadership and Life, Girl Scout Gold Award recipients receive greater lifetime benefits than their peers with regard to positive sense of self, life satisfaction, leadership, life success, community service and civic engagement thanks to their experience in Girl Scouting, including earning their Gold Award.
Payton Campbell, a senior at Carnegie Vanguard High School, has earned the Girl Scout Gold Award, the highest honor in Girl Scouting. The award recognizes girls in grades 9 through 12 who demonstrate extraordinary leadership through sustainable and measurable community service projects that require a minimum of 80 hours to complete. Less than five percent of Girl Scouts earn the award.
To earn the award, Campbell raised awareness about the importance of good cardiovascular health by creating an interactive touch box for youth and their families. Inside the touch box were four preserved hearts of a rat, rabbit, pig and cow in addition to a flipbook that gives information on the different animals and key facts about how their hearts work.
“Youth and adolescents have been benefitting from my project because they have been able to take the information I provided them with the interactive heart touch box and use it to make smart choices in ways in which they take care of their bodies,” said Campbell.
The touch box and an accompanying presentation script were later donated to the Houston Museum of Natural Science so staff could go through the box with visitors.
Because cardiovascular disease is a global issue, Campbell wanted to make sure her project had global impact. She worked with the Texas Heart Institute to film a video of her touch box presentation.
“The Texas Heart Institute website receives tens of thousands of visitors each week,” said Campbell. “I know that my project is linked globally.”
Through completing her Gold Award project, Campbell said she was forced to step out of her comfort zone and learn a subject that she wasn’t familiar with, which helped shape her outlook about starting a new task. It also helped broaden her leadership skills and taught her how to effectively lead the more than 20 volunteers who she recruited to assist her.
“I also gained practical life skills by reaching out into the community and networking with those I did not previously know,” said Campbell.
Earning the Gold Award was important to Campbell, because it is the honest honor a Girl Scout can achieve.
“I always hold myself to a high standard, so achieving this was a major goal for me,” said Campbell. “After scouting for 12 years, Girl Scouts will always be a part of me, so there was no way I could finish my journey without earning it.”
After graduating high school in May, Campbell will attend college and major in journalism or communications.