Michigan Girl Scout Earns Gold Award With Golf Clinic Program

MI Golf Ball 5The Gold Award is Girl Scouting’s highest honor. Among other requirements, earning the Golf Award requires a scout to plan and implement a service project that is of benefit to the community.

Recently, Annie Trotta, a Beverly Hills (Michigan) high school student earned her Gold Award by developing a golf clinic program to get more girls involved in the sport. Working with The First Tee and the Seaholm High School girls golf team, Trotta targeted the effort at girls age 7 to 12. Trotta also started a junior golf equipment drive for The First Tee.

“I was so encouraged by seeing the joy in the girls’ faces and proud to have introduced them to a new sport,” Trotta said. “I also loved seeing my teammates get involved in volunteering and wanting to continue this effort that I started.”

Golf is a terrific sport for women and it is a shame that more do not participate. As Babe Didrikson Zaharias said: Golf is a game of coordination, rhythm and grace; women have these in high abundance.

Efforts like those of Annie Trotta may help to put more young ladies on the path to a lifetime of golf.


The full press release follows:

Four Oakland County Girl Scouts honored with highest award


DETROIT — Girl Scouts of Southeastern Michigan (GSSEM) announced Emileigh Bechtolt, Julia Keahey and Annie Trotta, all of Beverly Hills, MI, and Clare Kinna of Bloomfield Hills, MI were among 18 recipients of Girl Scout’s highest honor – The Gold Award. Awards were presented at GSSEM’s annual Honor Reception on Sunday, May 1, 2016 at the San Marino Club in Troy. The Gold Award is presented to Senior and Ambassador level Girl Scouts who display exemplary service to their communities and beyond.

 For her Gold Award project, Bechtolt created an educational sensory garden to be used by the early learning center, Hand in Hand, to teach children about simple weather sciences and their five senses. She included herbs and berries for taste, flowers for sight and smell, and a variety of ornamental grasses and moss for touch. For sound she placed wind chimes made out of recycled materials. For the educational aspect she partnered with Hand in Hand to add the garden into the curriculum along with clouds, wind, rain, and temperature. “It’s so exciting because the teachers of the Hand in Hand program have agreed to help upkeep the garden,” said Bechtolt. “Also it helps teach the children responsibility by having them help.” Bechtolt will start her freshman year at the Ohio State University in fall 2016.

 Keahey created an online magazine dedicated to positive body image and empowerment for young women. “I’ve struggled with body image and so have others I know,” said Keahey. “It hurt me to see others negative self-perceptions weigh them down and I wanted to do something to help.” Keahey recruited friends to write and contribute to a “by teens, for teens” magazine while working closely with fashion and health industry professionals. Keahey said her online magazine was shared globally, and readership extended throughout the U.S., and in upwards of ten countries. Keahey is now a student at Ithaca College in New York.

 For her Gold Award project, Trotta developed a golf clinic program to get more girls involved in golfing. She worked with two organizations, The First Tee and the Seaholm High School Girls Golf Team. She developed and posted flyers for a girls’ golf clinic, targeting girls aged 7 to 12. On the day of the clinic, she led volunteers and trained them in the activities. She then taught each clinic. She also started a junior golf equipment drive to benefit The First Tee. “I was so encouraged by seeing the joy in the girls’ faces and proud to have introduced them to a new sport,” Trotta said. “I also loved seeing my teammates get involved in volunteering and wanting to continue this effort that I started.” Trotta graduated from Seaholm High School.

 Kinna’s Gold Award project focused on raising awareness of the dangers of e-cigarettes among Marian High School students and community leaders. She worked with Marian health teaching staff to provide information aboute-cigarettes to students in health education classes. She also developed and delivered a presentation to the students at S.A.D.D. meetings, and obtained more than 140 student signatures on a petition asking Bloomfield Township to amend their an ordinance to include language outlawing the sale of e-cigarettes to minors in the township.  “I presented my case to township leaders at a meeting of the Bloomfield Township Board of Trustees,” said Kinna. “I’m very happy that board agreed to review the state law and add the language to the code of ordinances,” Kinna concluded. Kinna is graduating from Marian High School.

 “The Gold Award is a huge undertaking for these girls. Some of them spend a year or more working on their projects,” said Denise Dalrymple, GSSEM Chief Executive Officer. “But earning the Gold is about more than just finishing the project. These girls build and create sustainable change that really impacts peoples’ lives for years to come. The girls learn that with one idea, combined with dedication and tenacity, they really can help make the world a better place. We are so proud of our honorees.”

 The Gold Award has changed names throughout the years, but it has always represented the pinnacle of the Girl Scout experience and leadership development. The requirements for the Girl Scout Gold Award start with completing two Girl Scout Senior or Ambassador Journeys or having earned the Girl Scout Silver Award and completing one Senior or Ambassador Journey. Each Journey completed gives girls the skills needed to plan and implement a Take Action project to create sustainable change in their community. After fulfilling the Journey(s) requirement, girls are ready to begin their project. They must complete the following steps: identify an issue, investigate it thoroughly, build a team, create and present a plan, gather feedback, take action, and educate and inspire others. Girls dedicate a minimum of 80 hours to completing their projects.

Journeys is the flagship program of the new Girl Scout Leadership Experience (GSLE). GSLE centers on three key processes of leadership – Discover, Connect, and Take Action. Through the Journeys experiences, girls discover a sense of self, connect with others for friendship and teamwork, and take action to make the world a better place.

About the Gold Award

Since 1916, Girl Scouts’ highest award has stood for excellence and leadership for girls everywhere. Seniors and Ambassadors who choose to pursue the Gold Award dedicate themselves to developing and implementing a yearlong project, which displays the leadership skills they have developed through Girl Scouting. The Gold Award project is the culmination of the Girl Scout Leadership Experience in which girls discover, connect, and take action to positively impact their communities, as well as their own lives.

 About Girl Scouts of Southeastern Michigan (GSSEM)
            GSSEM is the local council chartered by Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA) to facilitate the Girl Scout Leadership Experience (GSLE), designed to help girls develop leadership skills through three key elements—Discover, Connect and Take Action. Each element has a set of five outcomes including girls develop a strong sense of self (Discover); girls develop healthy relationships (Connect); and girls can identify community needs (Take Action).

GSSEM serves more than 36,000 girls and adult volunteers in Oakland, Macomb, Genesee, St. Clair, Sanilac, and parts of Wayne, Monroe and Livingston Counties. GSSEM provides a girl-led, girl-centered, fun-filled quality leadership experience.

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