Girl Scout Gold Award Project: Taryn Eveland, Longmont, “Hippotherapy Sensory Trail”
What did you do for your Gold Award project?
My project built a sensory trail on the property of Front Range Hippotherapy (FRH). FRH is a nonprofit therapy center which uses the movements of a horse to address various social, behavioral, and cognitive disabilities. The sensory trail includes a winding trail through the upper pasture with three permanent stations, each highlighting a different sense, including a mailbox, textile pole, and chimes. While steering the horse though the trail, kids will be required to maintain balance thereby strengthening core muscles that are not normally used. They will also stop at the stations and, while on horseback, perform the tasks required by each station.
How did you measure the impact your Gold Award project made on your target audience?
Because the issue I addressed takes time to see improvement, I have not been able to measure it concretely. But, I have provided the therapists with another tool which they can use to help the children progress to more concrete examples.
How is your project sustainable? How will your project continue to impact after your involvement?
Front Range Hippotherapy has promised to maintain and add to the trail I’ve created. The materials the stations are made out of are durable and replaceable, and the trail is long enough that if the therapist wants to add more stations she can. This will allow the trail to be used long after my involvement.
What is your project’s global and/or national connection?
My project serves to show people the importance of nonprofit therapy centers. With recent threats to availability of health insurance, nonprofit therapy organizations are becoming more important for all people. By establishing something for FRH that they were already wanting, free of charge, I am not only helping kids have a more enjoyable and effective experience at hippotherapy, I am also helping them financially and showing the world the importance of healthcare not only to people who are sick, but also to small businesses making a difference.
What did you learn about yourself?
My project inspired confidence in myself and gave me the knowledge that I can lead when I have to. I also learned the limits of independence. I couldn’t do it all on my own and was required to ask for help, but asking for help is not a sign of weakness in leadership. My project could never have been accomplished if I didn’t have the help of many people. I’ve also realized that helping people brings me great joy, especially people that cause me to value what I have been given in life.
How will earning your Gold Award impact you in the future?
I am more confident in my skills as a leader. I know I can lead, and I understand how to delegate tasks to accomplish a larger goal. That being said, I still understand the importance of not being a leader all the time. If everyone in my project had tried to lead, I would have had no one to work the augur or collect rocks or take pictures. I understand all the components of a team. Leader is just one part.
Why do you feel the Gold Award was an important part of your Girl Scout experience?
I remember the bridging ceremony from Daisy to Brownie and there was one point you have to look in the mirror and see who you see. I think the Gold Award solidifies how much I have grown since then and shows the epitome of who I want to be. It brings the Girl Scout experience full circle.
**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 email@example.com