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GIRL SCOUT GOLD AWARD PROJECT: Madison Haneke, Castle Rock, “Blankets for Babies”

Madison Haneke pic

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

I led volunteers in sewing just over 100 blankets for babies in Neonatal Intensive Care Units at three hospitals in my area: SkyRidge Medical Center, The Children’s Hospital (Anschutz) and Castle Rock Adventist Hospital.

Why did you pursue this Gold Award project?

I noticed that the majority of organizations put in place in hospitals target cancer patients and children (ages 5 and up). These are wonderful causes, but I wanted to bring attention to a bit of a less well-known department, the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, so I formed my project around raising awareness for the families that have hospitalized infants.

How did your Gold Award project make a difference?

I think my blankets brightened up the day of the families in the NICU and I definitely saw nurses get excited about the blankets, but I thought my impact on the volunteers who helped was amazing. I showed them that just a simple act of kindness can impact people you would never meet.

What skills did you gain through earning your Gold Award?

I learned how to ask for help, especially in front of a lot of people. Before, I was nervous to speak in front of people, but I learned that almost everyone is willing to help if you only ask. I also became a better collaborator. I gained the skill of incorporating others’ ideas to make my overall project better.

How did you make your project sustainable?

In every blanket package, there is a flyer with directions for making the blanket for future babies, and a link to my blog was included also, so that the families could learn about my project and maybe be inspired to make their own blanket to give to another family. Luckily, I came across to help a few of ladies who love to sew, and one of the ladies have already received and delivered a donation for her blanket. I think their continued love of sewing and my connections could make the blankets a recurring donation to NICUs.

What was your connection to the national or global community?

My blog was my main connection to the larger community. So far, it has received nearly 200 views, which is way more than I could have reached alone.

What will you most remember about your Gold Award project?

The most memorable part of my project was definitely seeing the reactions of the nurses. They were immediately excited about the product and idea, and they started giving them out as soon as I delivered them.

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

Through earning my Gold Award, I learned that I can make a real difference in the lives of people that I wouldn’t otherwise meet if I’m passionate and dedicated enough. This confidence will help to drive me through any challenges I may face in the future, since now I know what I am capable of with help from others and a strong desire to make an impact.

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

I see the Gold Award as the culmination of what Girl Scouts is all about. It is a massive leadership and community service responsibility, and earning it was so important to me because I felt like I was taking all that I have learned in Girl Scouts and applying it to the real world.

***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

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