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Amber Childres

Girl Scout Designs Summer Camp Program for Shelter Youth

HOUSTON (March 3, 2009) – Girl Scout Senior Sandra G. planned and led a summer camp program for children at Bay Area Turning Point, Inc., a shelter for victims of family violence, 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 that I could set a goal and achieve it,” says Sandra, a student at Clear Lake High School. “While recognizing my love for children, I also learned how to work with a wide age range of children and how to be flexible with my plans.”

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 wanted to work with children,” explains Sandra, who dreams of someday becoming a teacher. “I felt that the children at Bay Area Turning Point were in need of a summer camp.”

As part of her project, Sandra planned three weeks of theme-based activities for children ages 3 to 8 including games, songs, crafts, snack-time and storytelling. Aside from keeping the children entertained, she said her camp gave mothers the private time they needed to receive counseling and search for jobs.

“My daughter planned every evening, delegating duties to friends and family to be prepared for the next day of camp,” Sandra’s mother says. “I saw a new side of Sandra as she demonstrated her flexibility in dealing with groups that were larger or older than expected. While working on her Gold Award, she has grown more confident in speaking with adults.”

An active member of her Girl Scout troop, Sandra enjoys camping and has been a program aide for twilight summer camps. In 2006, she was on the planning board that led the Voyager Mother/Daughter Weekend. Sandra plans to pursue a college degree in early childhood education.

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