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Girl Scout Gold Award Project: Kelsey Harry, Littleton, “Operation Eagle”

kelsey-harry

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

I created Operation Eagle which is a high school club that addresses the issues of the U.S. military’s need of supplies that give them some comfort from home, narrows the emotional gap between soldiers overseas and their community/home, and addresses the lack of military knowledge in our community.  Operation Eagle aims to send as many care packages as possible to troops overseas to help the soldiers feel loved and supported, as well as to spread awareness of our troops in the community. To involve more of the community, individual Operation Eagle members visited elementary schools to work with students to write positive letters of support that were mailed to troops overseas. The troops benefit from this project because they receive supplies that they desperately need and gain a feeling of love and support from the communities that they left behind. Communities also benefit because they gain knowledge about what military life is really like in parts of the world where there is life and death conflict and communities also receive satisfaction by knowing that they helped support the people that are constantly sacrificing in order to preserve our freedom.

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

Pictures of our smiling troops surrounded by packages collected by Operation Eagle efforts are extremely gratifying and proof of our immediate impact on U.S. soldiers. It is very apparent that our heroes know of the love and support from this community. The cards, letters, donated items, and shipping box decorating identify the care and concern from our community towards our troops.  This level of effort and love is a sure sign that the educational efforts provided by OE are having a positive and lasting effect on our military. It is also apparent that OE club members have gained skills as well, one being the ability to communicate with principals, teachers, students, and other club members.

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

My project will be sustained since the teacher sponsor of Operation Eagle has committed to continue the club past my involvement. A current underclassman will be taking on the leadership position of this club once I have graduated. Long-term impact of Operation Eagle would be the continuation of the impact OE is currently having on our troops and on our community.  It would be the continuing education of students and community members of what military life is like, as well as the teaching on the needs of our soldiers.  It would also be continuing to collect cards, letters, and needed items for our military. But, the most important long-term impact of OE would be that our troops continue to feel the love and support from all of us, the people they choose to put their lives on the line for every day.

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

Sending letters and needed items to our soldiers connects us to our loved ones, even when they are thousands of miles away. The soldiers feel closer as well. The global link to my project is that Operation Eagle is connecting communities with overseas soldiers.  Communities are giving thanks and showing appreciation to our troops by sending care packages; and community members are also supporting fellow community members by supporting their loved ones in the military.

What did you learn about yourself?

Not only have I discovered so much about myself throughout my project, I have also discovered a great deal about the world around me, and how I can make the world a better place. I chose to start Operation Eagle because I saw a problem in the world that I wanted to help eliminate. After finding a worldwide problem and doing whatever I could to help extinguish it, I discovered that I will seek more world problems in the future and do whatever I can to help. I discovered the type of person that I want to be. I want to be someone who makes a difference in the world and perseveres to reach her goals. I want to be a person who seeks challenges to overcome.  I encountered many challenges during my project, but I always stayed true to myself and I always kept my goal in mind.  I discovered who I am through my project.  I am a leader, a helper, a problem solver, and a confident young woman.

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

I have learned so much about myself during this process and the type of person that I want to be and I know that this project is only the beginning. Because of Operation Eagle I want to, and am going to, seek world problems and help solve them, because the feeling of helping others and being kind is truly invaluable.  I have become a leader and I know these skills will grow in the future.  I am going to continue to help others, be kind, be confident, and make the world a better place.

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

Besides the great feeling of helping the community and giving back, I feel a sense of accomplishment. I think it is very important to finish something that you’ve started. The Gold Award sums up my whole Girl Scout experience. I have implemented all of the skills learned from Girls Scouts into this project.

**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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