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Girl Scout Gold Award Project: Eliana Wackerman, Colorado Springs, “Do It for the Kids!”

Eliana Wackerman

Eliana Wackerman Colorado Springs Saint Mary’s High School Do It for the Kids!

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

My project addressed the issue of children feeling uncomfortable and frightened within hospitals. Young children decide how they feel about things in a moment’s notice. To help provide a better atmosphere, I created 32 separate murals on windows measuring 47” x 57 1/2” and activities on white board paper for the waiting room at the Pediatric Clinic in the U.S. Army’s Evans Community Hospital.

Why did you pursue this Gold Award project?

I selected this project for various reasons. First, I wanted to execute a project that included children because I am thinking of pursuing a career that deals with children. Second, I wanted to include the medical field within my project because I have a large interest in both science as well as medicine. Lastly, seeing as how both of my parents are retired U.S. Army, I have always felt a large connection with the military. With the combination of all of these things, working with the U.S. Army’s Evans Community Hospital’s Pediatric Clinic became the perfect opportunity. Working with Evans Community Hospital not only allowed me to obtain experience with children through the medical field, but it also allowed me to make an impact on children’s lives. I understand that hospitals can be a scary place to many children of all ages. That is why I want the children to feel as comfortable as possible as they are waiting for a consult with a doctor. A mural and activities for children to play with while they wait are only a small way that children can feel more comfortable, but I hope something as small as this can have a large impact on the children that observe the mural as well as play with the activities.

How did your Gold Award project make a difference?

My Gold Award project made a difference by not only letting the children feel more comfortable in the clinic, but also by having others want to help their community because they saw my project. I posted pictures of the progress of my project on social networking sites, and friends from all over the world commented and contacted me telling me how awesome an action I was completing. Each of these people have told me that seeing me take action in my community has made them want to take action in their community,

What skills did you gain through earning your Gold Award?

I developed a stronger sense of self as I faced my fear of talking with high-ranking officials and adults, and realized that my confidence grew as I faced my fears and that I could easily communicate with my elders.

I developed positive values as I realized the impact I could make on young children through such simple means of educational paintings.

I gained practical life skills, especially in the area of time management. I discovered that I cannot expect things to be approved or executed in a snap of the fingers. I realized that I have to manage my time effectively because it is so precious.

What will you most remember about your Gold Award project?

I will remember the reactions from parents, children and staff at the Fort Carson Hospital that I received as I completed my project. Children walking by as I was painting saying, “Look mommy! A sheep!” or ” That’s so cool!” always put a smile on my face. Parents and staff at the hospital even came up to me saying how much they liked the paintings and how they believed it was making a big impact on the children.

How will earning your Gold Award help you in your future?

The children who are patients at this hospital were scared of the hospital and the pediatric clinic. The colorful murals allow them to feel more comfortable in a now kid-friendly area. The fact that I was educating these children through an artistic viewpoint not only empowered me to be a creative thinker when it came to the scenes on these panels, but it also educated children as they asked their parents what different objects on the panels were. Creativity is something that can only enhance my future, and learning how to use it in a way that helps others will help me reach my goals in a unique way.

Why do you feel the Gold Award is an important part of your Girl Scout experience?

One of the reasons I decided to work with the military for my Gold Award was because I thought that would be a perfect way to establish a global connection. With military personnel moving around as much as they do, I am hoping that they will see my project and implement something similar all over the world. Also since this project is focused at children, wherever these children go when they grow up, which could be anywhere in the world, I hope they give something back to their community and, thus, make an impact on the global society. As Girl Scouts, we want to help the world, and I think executing a project that makes global connections and makes a difference in the world fulfills the motto of the Girl Scouts and the reason I am a Girl Scout.



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