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Girl Scout Gold Award Project: Hadley Bowles, Denver, “Sustainable Secrets”


Hadley Louise Keist Bowles

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

Usually people have some resources to get food but do not know enough about healthy eating. For my Gold Award Project I focused on helping kids learn where food comes from and about healthy options. To do that, I created an educational program for Metro Caring that was geared to teach kids about food and sustainable crafts. Metro Caring is one of Denver’s largest food assistance programs. It has a fresh food shopping market for low income people at no charge. To help it have available fresh food, it also has gardens for vegetables. Every day Metro Caring distributes food, baby items and personal care products to an average of 70 people.

In 2015, Metro Caring completed construction on n a new building. The new building includes a learning area for kids, as well as a classroom for Metro Caring to teach adults about healthy foods. My program is to provide kids a learning activity while their parents are either shopping in the food market or attending a class at Metro Caring.

How did you measure the impact your Gold Award project made on your target audience?

Hunger is a world problem. By starting with kids at a young age you can teach them how to work with what they have or learn to improve things to eat a little at a time. Once they understand healthy eating, they can spread the word to their parents and others. They may even grow to help others learn what they did. Hunger is everywhere but with these classes maybe a few more people will be able to improve their eating.

How is your project sustainable? How will your project continue to impact after your involvement?

My project will be sustained by volunteers at Metro Caring. I have prepared 15 lesson plans for Metro Caring to use for children’s activities and put together supplies for the activities. I copied the lesson plans and put them into three notebooks to make it easy for volunteers to use and add new ideas. I wrote an article about my project for the Metro Caring newsletter so that their volunteers and supporters can learn more about the work I did for my Gold Award. The article was published and is a way to let volunteers know how they can help with the program. I am going to also write a similar article for the Kirk (my church) newsletter for members who might want to do something more at Metro Caring. When the supplies were delivered, Metro Caring was excited and the new volunteer coordinator believed there were several volunteers who are retired teachers that would be interested in doing the classes. In addition to my article in the Newsletter, the coordinator plans to recruit volunteers to teach.

What is your project’s global and/or national connection?

Around the world there is approximately 925 million people who are under nourished on a daily basis. This means they get less than 2,100 calories a day. This despite world being able to produce enough food to feed everyone. Closer to home, more than 200,000 children in Colorado live below the poverty line. Also, more that 25% of working families in Colorado do not have enough food by the end of the month. Although Metro Caring is working to address these food needs, they do not have a program to help children understand food, what is good for them and how they can create things from other things. My Gold Award project focuses on children and their understanding of food.

What did you learn about yourself?

My Gold Award project taught me about what I could do—to have courage to lead and to learn at the same time. It also taught me the importance of self-confidence. This was a big project. I put it off for a long time because I did not know what to do. Once I got started though, I figured out I could do it as long as I kept things moving forward. Also, I learned the importance of communication. I needed to keep Metro Caring more informed of my progress. Then when I taught the kids, I learned I had to adjust my lessons based on the age of the kids or if they spoke English. Finally, it taught me that I can make a difference in the world.

How will earning your Gold Award impact you in the future?

Having made this project work, I suspect I will be more open to leadership positions because of the self-confidence I gained while working on my Gold Award. I learned to accomplish new things, such as new projects to help others, and I may even find a new idea that I want to develop further in my future.  Earning my Gold Award, has given me a sense of pride that I will not hesitate to mention to others.  I also think it will help open doors to other opportunities.

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

Ever since I joined Girl Scouts, I have wanted to get my Gold Award. The reason being that my brother was a Boy Scout and was doing a ton of fun things. So I though in Girl Scouts I could do the same things and I did. We went backpacking, canoeing, camping, spelunking and more I had a ton of fun. But then my brother started working on his Eagle project and I wanted to do one to. So I looked at what Girl Scouts had to offer and I found the Bronze, Silver and Gold Awards. So I started working on them. The Bronze was fun and we did it as a troop. The Silver was more interesting doing it on my own with help from my mom. Then it was time I was old enough to do my Gold Award. I choose something that I wanted to have an impact on and change. The experience was great and it taught me a lot. It was a lot of fun and was a good way I felt to graduate from Girl scouts to being a Counselor.

**IMPORTANT NOTE: This blog represents only a small fraction of the hard work, dedication and requirements that go into earning a Girl Scout Gold Award. It is simply a brief summary, which is meant to inspire Girl Scouts to Go Gold in the future. For more information on earning your Gold Award, please email highestawards@gscolorado.org

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