- GSCO Blog
Gold Award Girl Scout focuses project on seatbelt awareness to save lives
Gold Award Girl Scout Amy Bechtel chose to focus her Gold Award project around seatbelt awareness. Amy shares with us why she chose this as her project and what it meant to her.
Why did you choose this as your Gold Award project?
I chose to focus on seatbelt awareness for teenage drivers for my Gold Award Project because of the deaths of three Parker, Colorado area teens over the past two years. I wanted to bring this issue to the forefront for teenagers because it doesn’t seem like it is real until your friends die because they weren’t buckled up. This happened to me. Sammie Caflisch (age 15) died in July 2020 after being ejected from a Jeep. I played soccer with her while we were in middle school and remember her as the team cheerleader, who always had a smile on her face and inspired us to give our best. Her death inspired me to take action because I don’t want anyone else to die because they didn’t take less than two seconds to buckle up. For my project, I partnered with Sammie’s Sunshine Foundation, a foundation started by Sammie’s family promoting seatbelt awareness, to carry out my project. I created little 3D printed charms, in the shape of a sun, to distribute to three local high schools. My hope is, upon receiving these charms, teens will put them on their car keys and every time they reach for their keys, they will be reminded to buckle up when they feel the pointy rays of the sun charm.
How completing your Gold Award project impacted you?
Completing this ongoing project was no easy task, but once it was finally finished, I felt so proud of myself. I had raised awareness about a prevalent issue affecting teens today, and I hope my project will save many lives. Seeing the positive reactions to my project and how much people are touched by its message, I am glad I was able to make a huge impact on my small community. Regis Jesuit High School has already started printing their own charms, which proves my project is still making a large impact on teenagers. I overcame many challenges along the journey, and I learned what it takes to carry a life-changing project from start to finish. When I first started this project, it seemed impossible I would be able to create over 2,000 charms to distribute to three local high schools on my own, but thanks to the help from my family and friends, I did it. This project has given me confidence that I can do whatever I set my mind to, and that I don’t have to be the loudest, most outspoken, or outgoing person to create a difference in someone’s life.
What does being a Girl Scout mean to you?
I have been involved in Girl Scouts since Kindergarten, and this program has given me many memories to last a lifetime. Both my mother and grandmother were involved Girl Scouts since they were young, and I wanted to follow in their footsteps. In 2012, as a Brownie Scout, my dream for Gold began when my mom showed me her old badges and awards during the 100-Year celebrations because we were learning about Girl Scout history. Seeing her shiny Silver Award, I asked if there was a higher award, and she told me about the Gold Award. Since that moment, I knew I was going to finish the program and earn this award no matter the challenges I was going to face. Over the years, I have experienced many favorite scouting memories: Among the Pines Day Camp, Meadow Mountain Ranch troop camping, selling cookies, Sky High and Tomahawk Ranch summer camps, being at PA at Franktown Day Camp and two camporees, leading journeys for younger girls, and earning both the Bronze and Silver Award. Being a Girl Scout means serving the community, teaching younger Scouts skills, giving them fun memories of camping, following the Scout Promise and Law daily, and making the world a better place. I am truly blessed to have been involved in this program for 13 years, and I wouldn’t have rather spent my time any other way.