2021 Gold Achievement Honoree
Girl Scout Troop 2508
Girl Scout Troop 2508 is the inaugural Girl Scout troop at Packer Collegiate Institute in Brooklyn Heights, New York. For more than a decade, the girls have embarked on the extraordinary Girl Scout journey: from Daisies to Ambassadors, Bronze, and Silver Awards, these six girls have gone through every stage of Girl Scouting supporting each other.
When it came time to consider their Gold Award projects, Carly Mraz, Annabel Kim, Jordana Sampson, Meleana Buice, Madeleine Penalver, and Sydney Green (pictured above left to right) naturally decided to pursue it together!
For aspring Gold Award Girl Scouts, here’s how it worked: each girl completed a unique project by designing and delivering a program in her individual area of expertise, exceeding all hourly requirements independently, to earn her Gold Award. The troop used the same delivery model (an after school program) and supported each other in earning their Gold Awards by co-facilitating programming.
Identifying the Need
Each of the six girls believe that Girl Scouting should be accessible to all girls. Yet, many girls from underserved communities in New York City are missing out on the unique experiences and sense of community that Girl Scouting offers. Inspired by the success of Troop 6000, the Girl Scout program serving girls in the New York City homeless shelter system, Girl Scout Troop 2508 set out to “be a sister to every Girl Scout” by creating a new and sustainable model of Girl Scouting.
Beginning in 2018, Girl Scout Troop 2508 partnered with Grand Street Settlement Rutgers Community Center on the Lower East Side to launch and lead a Girl Scout troop for twenty 1st-4th grade girls participating in their free afterschool program.
Girl Scout Troop 2508 and Grand Street Settlement Rutgers Community Center
Once a week after school for nearly three years, the girls from Troop 2508 traveled from Brooklyn Heights to Manhattan’s Lower East Side to lead troop meetings for twenty younger Girl Scouts. Each session included fun and engaging age-specific activities focused on STEAM topics (science, technology, engineering, arts, and math); healthy nutrition and body image; the importance of and connection between physical activity and mindfulness; and self-expression through the creative arts. These topics and activities allowed the younger girls to explore new things while being supported by the older girls in a safe, no-fail environment.
When all Girl Scout activities went virtual in March 2020, like so many troops, Troop 2508 continued to meet online: they created pre-recorded, interactive content, and activity sheets to ensure the younger girls continued their Girl Scout experience at home.
Looking Toward the Future
Girl Scout Troop 2508 continued to facilitate weekly meetings at the community center for nearly three years, proving their hypothesis that a program model in which Girl Scout troops led by high school-aged Girl Scouts is both sustainable and replicable. Girl Scouts of Greater New York is currently working with Troop 2508 to translate their Gold Award Project into a council-wide program.
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