Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Guest Post: Exploring interests by earning the Gold Award

This post is part of our monthly series by girls who have earned the Girl Scout Gold Award, our organization's highest honor and an accomplishment girls can be immensely proud of for the rest of their lives. This prestigious honor signifies a girl has successfully answered the call to “Go Gold” and marks her as an accomplished member of society. In this series you'll hear not just from girls who have earned the award - they'll tell you how they turned their passion into a project, turned a project into a career and more. Earning the Gold Award is a special accomplishment, and we look forward to sharing these incredible stories with you over the next year.

By Josephine B.
Gold Award Recipient

My Girl Scout Gold Award project was to build a vegetable garden for the culinary arts students at Glenda Dawson High School. The purpose of this project was to provide the culinary arts classes with fresh local vegetables and to give them the opportunity to learn more about where there food comes from and how local eating can benefit the environment and their personal health.

I first became aware of a need for a vegetable garden in my community when Chef Dunn, the culinary arts teacher at my school, came to teach my Girl Scout troop how to make healthy meals from local foods as we were completing the "Sow What?" Journey. While he was with us, he mentioned that he wished that he had easier access to fresh foods for his culinary arts classes.

Through the "Sow What?" Journey I had become interested in local foods and their beneficial impact on the environment and their nutritional value so the idea of incorporating that into my Gold Award project was already in my mind. Chef Dunn just provided me with a specific need, and he became my project adviser.

The original idea behind the project was just to provide the culinary arts department with a vegetable garden to meet their needs. It soon metastasized into something much greater. Chef Dunn suggested that his advanced culinary arts class be responsible for watering, planting and harvesting the garden and this opened up a whole new window of opportunity. With the culinary arts students being responsible for growing their own food for class they will be learning how to grow food as well as how to cook it. This emphasizes the local food principal ‘from garden to table’.

My hope is that by being exposed to this method of learning the students will take the practice of gardening with them into adulthood. In the months since I have completed my project Chef Dunn has already told me of the positive impact that my garden has made. This is the greatest affirmation that I could hope for. My garden was a success!