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Amber Childres
713-292-0361

Teen Puts on Dance Camp for Children at Local Shelter to Boost their Confidence, Self-Esteem

HOUSTON (March 2009) – Girl Scout Senior Nicole G. held a three-week dance camp for young children at Alpha Montessori School in Seabrook to earn the Girl Scouts of San Jacinto Council Gold Award, the highest award a Girl Scout can achieve. Less than 5 percent of girls who join Girl Scouts earn this recognition.

“Through my community service project, I learned how surprising and amazing children can be,” says Nicole, a student at Clear Lake High School.

Earning the Gold Award is a significant honor that requires recipients to demonstrate outstanding leadership skills, career planning, community involvement and personal development. It takes more than 100 service hours and two to three years of intensive work to complete the award requirements, which include planning and completing a project that is a service to the community.

“I chose this project because I love to dance, choreograph and teach others how to dance,” explains Nicole. “I wanted to bring my passion for dance to children because they are our future performers and audience members.”

Nicole created her project to address a communal disinterest in the arts. She taught two separate classes everyday for three weeks, introducing a new style of dance each day. The children learned how to use their body as an instrument in expressing abstract concepts, and gained a better appreciation for dance. At the end of the camp, the children put on a final performance at an open house.

“Nicole learned about commitment and patience during her project,” says Kathy Gardner, Nicole’s mother. “She was very dedicated to the children and wanted to teach them everything she knew about dance – and they loved it! Nicole has grown so much from a teen to a young woman.”

As part of a Girl Scout troop, Nicole has also earned her Silver and Bronze awards for special community service projects. She served on the board for a Service Unit Weekend, and also worked at day and twilight camps. A member of the National Honor Society and French Club, Gardner plans to attend college to pursue a degree in physics.

Girl Scouts of the USA is the world's preeminent organization for girls, with a membership of more than 3.7 million girls and adults. Girl Scouting builds girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place. Chartered by GSUSA to provide Girl Scouting locally, Girl Scouts of San Jacinto Council is one of the largest Girl Scout councils in the country serving more than 65,000 girl members and 17,000 adults in 26 southeast Texas counties. For more information call 1-800-392-4340 or visit www.gssjc.org.