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Crystal Simmons
(713) 292-0321

Girl Scout holds summer program to earn Gold Award

BELLAIRE (Jan. 26, 2011) – Girl Scout Ambassador Kathryn T. created a summer program to teach children about animals to earn the Girl Scouts of San Jacinto Council Gold Award, the highest award a Girl Scout can achieve. Less than five percent of girls who join Girl Scouts earn this recognition.

“I learned about the many difficulties that will always come up when not only trying to plan the event but also when trying to execute it,” says Kathryn, a senior at Andy Debakey High School for Health Professions. “There are just some things you can’t plan for and you need to be able to think on your feet.”

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 love animals, and I thought maybe I could not only help animals in need, but also show kids some of the cool things about animals, or at least entertain them when the camp had to downsize and the kids lost many of the activities they used to do,” explains Kathryn.

Kathryn decided to create her summer program for children whose summer camp was damaged during Hurricane Ike and who had to move to a new facility. Because the new facility was much smaller, the children did not have enough activities to keep them entertained. To make up for the missing activities, she held a three-week program that lasted five days a week for two hours a day for about 20 children. She also spent about 28 hours building a turtle habitat to shelter turtles who lost their home.

“Kathryn has learned how to organize, plan, recruit, overcome adversity and have confidence,” says Cynthia Tharpe, Kathryn’s mother. “

As an active member of Girl Scouts, Kathryn is involved in destinations, SPURS and Mariners. At Debakey High School, she participates in volleyball Health Occupations Students of America and Dance Club. Following graduation, she plans to attend Texas A&M to become a veterinarian.

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 72,000 girl members and 18,000 adults in 26 southeast Texas counties. For more information call 1-800-392-4340 or visit

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