On June 14, 2016, Girl Scouts from central Maryland joined 108 other Girl Scout councils on Capitol Hill to celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the Gold Award. Girl Scouts of the USA leadership, members of Girl Scouts’ Honorary Troop Capitol Hill, and more than 200 leaders from government, the military, and academia celebrated Girl Scouts’ highest award and recognized the amazing girls and women who have earned it over the past century.
Known today as the Gold Award—and in the past as Golden Eaglet, First Class, and Curved Bar Award—Girl Scouts’ highest award was established in 1916. Earning a Gold Award requires girls to take action in a sustainable way by identifying local or global issues and working to resolve them for future generations. Over the years, Gold Award recipients have improved the lives of millions of people around the world, with achievements that range from rallying a community to clean a local waterway to introducing young girls to STEM. Since 1990, Girl Scouts of Central Maryland has pinned 1,545 high school aged local Girl Scouts with this prestigious award.
Nicole Bulgarino, Jasmine Fuhrman, Jinia Sarkar, and Laura Silverman, 2016 GSCM Gold Award recipients, and Sarah Lohrfink, 2015 Gold Award recipient, took part in the celebration. GSCM and other Gold Award recipients met with their members of Congress to raise awareness of the Gold Award, discuss their projects, and talk about how their work is helping to improve their communities and communities around the world.
Sarah Lorhrfink shared her reflections from the day:
“I was honored to be among a group of 4 Gold Award recipients from Girl Scouts of Central Maryland who traveled to Washington DC for the Gold Award Centennial celebration. Our day started with a meeting with Senator Barbara Mikulski, where we discussed the importance of the Gold Award and Girl Scouting in general. Senator Mikulski spent a lot of time with us discussing our various Gold Award projects. We were then escorted by some of the Senator’s staffers to the Senate Underground Subway, which we rode to the Cannon Office building to attend the Gold Award celebration.
The Gold Award Celebration was even more exciting than we expected. We met Gold Award girls from around the country and had time to share information about our projects. Many representatives were present and talked about their support for and love of Girl Scouts. One of my favorite speakers was Brigadier General Holland who talked about how Girl Scouts prepared her for her military career. After the official program, we were served a special cake and our group took photos and selfies with GSUSA CEO, Ana Maria Chavez.
Following the celebration, we headed off for visits with our Congressmen and/or their staff. Our first stop was Dutch Ruppersberger’s office, followed by the offices of Elijah Cummings and Steny Hoyer. We spoke to them about support for Girl Scouts and awareness of Gold Award. It was very excited to be able to share our stories and to really be heard by these legislators. I left feeling very empowered to continue to speak out about girl issues and in support of the Gold Award.