On the day of her Gold Award in December, Williamsville North junior Holly Spohn recalls she was excited, but not worried. She felt confident that the six months she had spent planning a Magical Music Day at the Audubon Library were not going to be wasted.
"Being a Girl Scout has had a great impact on my life," said Holly. "It has taught me discipline, cooperation and working with others toward a common goal."
About 100 kids showed up at Audubon (with about 200 people total) to hear student performers from Williamsville high schools, look at displays about music and to check out the instrument "petting zoo."
As the Girl Scout Council of Buffalo and Erie County celebrates its 90th anniversary this month, many girls have discovered a world of opportunity in scouting and a chance to display leadership and serve their communities through Gold Awards. The Gold Award is the highest award a Girl Scout can achieve, similar to the Boy Scout Eagle Scout Award. In Erie County, anywhere from 20 to 50 girls, ages 14 to 18, earn Gold Awards each year. Younger Scouts can earn Silver and Bronze awards.
Sandy Lamphear, chief operating officer of the Girl Scout Council of Buffalo and Erie County, says a girl who earns a Gold Award "is first and foremost a leader who has made a lasting impression on her community. She is a role model to her peers. She is an agent for change."
Adele Flanagan, an Immaculata High School graduate who is now a sophomore at Nazareth College, Rochester, received her Gold Award for creating a Comfort for Kids craft kit program for young patients at Roswell Park Cancer Institute. The kits included instructions and materials for making bead animals, blankets and hats. "I am proud to have done such a big thing myself, and realize what I could really do if I set my mind to it," said Adele.
Junior Troop 362 of the Dodge Service Unit spent several Saturday afternoons cleaning 4,000 children's books at the Audubon Library to earn the Bronze Award. The girls are all sixth-graders from Williamsville middle schools. "Receiving the Bronze Award makes me happy and proud that I worked hard for it," says Hannah LoVullo of Mill Middle. "There is the honor and pride of living by the Girl Scout promise and law, and knowing that I have helped my community and the people who live in it," says Sydney Reed Davey of Heim. "I like scouting because you get to try new things and meet all kinds of people; plus you get to go on fun and interesting field trips." The troop during the year caroled at hospitals, went camping and horseback riding and visited the SPCA.
"I like Girl Scouting because it gives you a lot of opportunities for later on in life and it always brings out the best in everyone," says Danielle Taylor, also of Heim.
Buffalo Seminary sophomore Jule Carr is a member of Girl Scout Troop 253 and earned her Silver Award.