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Crystal Simmons
(713) 292-0321

Girl Scout hosts water safety day to earn Gold Award

RICHMOND (March 8, 2011) – Girl Scout Ambassador Sydney H. held a community water safety day 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 that it takes a lot of time and thought to pull off a successful event, and it is very helpful to have a large team of volunteers,” says Sydney, a junior at William B. Travis 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 a water safety day since swimming has been a positive part of my life for years,” explains Sydney. “As a life guard, it became apparent to me how many people cannot swim, and thus drown each year. I hoped to help members of my community to become more competent in swimming through my educational project.”

For her project, Sydney taught the importance of water safety and emergency preparedness and gave free swim lessons. She also organized booths with information on sun awareness, emergency procedures, the Red Cross, the Make a Splash Foundation and other local agencies available to the community. The entire event took eight hours and had 80 attendees.

“I was very impressed that Sydney stepped out of her comfort zone to contact professionals in the community, along with grocery store managers, to solicit donations,” says Mary Hodges, Sydney’s mother. “She received positive feedback and help from most, thus building her confidence. Planning such an extensive event helped her practice both organizing and timeliness.”

As a leader in Girl Scouts, Sydney enjoys attending resident camp and camping. At William B. Travis High School, Sydney is involved in Spanish National Honor Society, Science National Honor Society, the swim team and many more. She is also an Athletic Scholar and Academic Scholar. Following graduation, she plans to study chemical engineering in college.

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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