By: Allison B.

The Girl Scout Silver Award is not just a pin you place on your vest or sash. Its not just an achievement earned while hanging out with friends, and once you have finished, its not something, you’re glad it’s over with. I should know. Last summer, I completed my project, which didn’t help one person, but many people of all ages. My Girl Scout Silver Award project did not take place in Georgia, like most projects do, but took place on the other end of the country, 13 hours away, in the quaint, rural town of Westfield, New York. Every summer we travel to my family’s lake house there on Lake Erie. We love to swim off the shore of the small, community beach that so many of us enjoy.
The problem is that Westfield is a neighborhood where many elderly people live and where young children come to play, and the beach is piled with rocks and debris. For my Girl Scout Silver Award, I decided to clean up the beach and build a safe stone path to the shore.
The Cleanup Crew
By organizing a giant cleanup day, I was able to bring the community together in the best way possible: a time when we all help protect what we love. I worked with people from ages five-60. A lot of people came to help, even people I had never met until that day. Burning debris and clearing rocks altogether made the experience a lot more worthwhile. We all decided to make the community beach cleanup an annual tradition; bringing neighbors together each year is part of my project’s legacy!
Building the Path
Once we finished the cleanup, the real hard labor started. Over the next few weeks, for many hours a day, I dragged rocks bigger and heavier than me with my dad all the way across the beach to the site of the path. Once we put the rocks together like puzzle pieces, we filled the cracks with sand. Then we swept it clean and tested it out. Everyone loved it. Recently there was a huge storm. A lot of debris washed up, but the amazing thing is……the path remained!!!
Through this journey I accomplished two things: I brought a community together and made a fun place safer. I also learned that my community, like so many others, is far reaching.  It isn’t only right outside my front door, but far off in amazing places; that’s what makes this project so special!
In the future, I plan to expand my service work outside our country. Sure, close to home is a good place to start, but remember, there’s a whole, wide world out there that needs our care. So when you’re looking for ideas for your Girl Scout Silver or Girl Scout Gold Award project, stretch your imagination and let it run to faraway places. No matter how far people might be, you can always make them a part of your community!!!

To learn more about the Girl Scout Silver Award, click here. 

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