Rachel Brown made sure the music halls at her school were alive with Organized Sound, her Girl Scout Gold Award project.
Brown, a senior at Parkway West High School, took on the challenging task of completely revamping the school’s choral music library, which she described as unorganized and unusable.
The Girl Scout Gold Award is the highest national award that a Girl Scout Senior or Ambassador, girls in grades 9-12, can earn. Brown is a Girl Scout Ambassador in Troop 1089.
“The shelving that held the music was old, falling apart and had the potential to hurt a student or teacher,” she said. “I focused on creating a spreadsheet where the music could be logged and accounted for.”
As she began entering data about the music on the shelves, Brown realized she couldn’t complete the project alone so she found a project advisor and assembled a team to assist. Brown created a training guide to teach her team members a consistent way to enter the data. She also sponsored leadership days at her home, where the team learned to use counting and recording systems.
After entering the music into spreadsheets, it was alphabetized and placed on new shelving provided by the school district. Brown and her team entered more than 1,000 music envelopes and counted more than 30,000 sheet music copies.
Earning the Girl Scout Gold Award requires a suggested 80 hours of planning and implementing a challenging, large-scale project that is innovative, engages others and has a lasting impact on its targeted community with an emphasis on sustainability.
Brown said the system she put in place will be self-sustaining after she graduates. As new music is purchased, it will be entered into the spreadsheet and organized on the shelves. Her training guide will be used for future student aides who will be responsible for entering the music.
“My project caused me to strengthen my communication skills and gain more patience,” she said. “I learned I am someone who enjoys helping others and teaching them something new. I learned that one person is capable of doing big things. My one idea caused a whole array of change.”
One of those changes is that the orchestra department at her school decided to replicate her project for its music library.
Earning the Girl Scout Gold Award puts girls among an exceptional group of women who have used their knowledge and leadership skills to make a difference in the world. Some of the Gold Awardee benefits are:
- A Girl Scout who has earned her Gold Award and enlists in the US armed forces, immediately rises one level in rank
- Colleges and universities recognize the achievements and leadership abilities of Girl Scout Gold Award recipients by offering scholarship programs
- Achievements of the Girl Scout Gold Award recipients are acknowledged by many government and non-profit organizations
Less than one percent of all Girl Scouts earn the Girl Scout Gold Award. With talent, passion, commitment and determination, they can make changes in their communities and impact people around the world. This year, 40 girls in eastern Missouri earned Gold Awards. They were recognized at a reception at Maritz in Fenton in June.