COAST CITIES — Fifteen North Coastal Girl Scouts recently received the Gold Award, Girl Scouts’ highest honor, for their outstanding dedication to community service: Meghan Assioun, Cassie Dibbins, Erica Dorr, Katherine Glockner, Nicole Greene, Courtney Hesse, Victoria Ly, Alexandria Miller, Raeann Purnell, Katherine Riis, Maia Rosengarten, Kendra Scruggs, Dana Smith, Courtney Utsler and Angela Zhang. The North Coast girls were among the 60 local Girl Scouts who received their Gold Award in a recent ceremony at the Irwin M. Jacobs Qualcomm Hall. The Gold Award is presented to only 5.4 percent of Girl Scouts nationwide. To earn this award, girls spend two to three years developing and implementing community service projects that make their world a better place.Erica Dorr and Cassie Dibbins both reached out to senior citizens in assisted living facilities. Dorr, a member of Girl Scout Troop 1393 and a resident of Carlsbad, interviewed residents of Sunrise Senior Living and compiled a collection of stories about their lives. Dibbins, from Oceanside’s Troop 4077, brought Vista High School students to the nearby Rancho Vista Retirement Community to perform songs and play acting games.Other Gold Award honorees focused on helping a younger demographic. Raeann Purnell, of Oceanside’s Troop 4444, created an after-school club designed to help her classmates learn to conquer fears and feel less alone in a crowd. Kendra Scruggs, an Independent Girl Scout from Encinitas, created 30 care packages for teen mothers at Foothill High School and spread the word about a mentoring program called Guiding Adolescent Parents. Courtney Utsler of Carlsbad, also an independently registered Girl Scout, started a camp, entitled “Dream of Self-Esteem,” to address confidence issues in young victims of domestic abuse.Two members of Girl Scout Troop 1072 in Carlsbad took action through education for their Gold Award projects. Concerned about the rise of childhood obesity, Meghan Assioun organized a health camp to teach children about the importance of nutrition and exercise. Angela Zhang took over a creative writing class for grades four through six at the Carlsbad City Dove Library, which had planned to discontinue the course. Nicole Greene, a Carlsbad resident from troop 1288, also led a writing workshop. Her 11- to 13-year-old students all submitted the short stories they wrote to the San Diego County Fair.Katherine Riis, from troop 1620 in Carlsbad, helped Aviara Oaks Middle School update its safety procedures and educated students about safety preparedness. Carlsbad Troop 1019 member Alexandria Miller –understanding the competitive nature of sports but wanting to keep players safe — made a DVD to show teenagers how to guard a soccer ball while protecting themselves. Fellow Carlsbad Girl Scout Dana Smith, a member of Troop 1072, increased awareness about animal welfare by creating an “Animal Care Club” to promote the importance of spaying and neutering pets as a way to help minimize animal cruelty.
Two Gold Award recipients from Encinitas made a difference at the Ronald McDonald House. Enlisting help from families at the homeless housing center Solutions for Change as well as from high school students, Katherine Glockner, also of troop 1072, sent blankets and get well cards to young patients and their parents. Courtney Hesse, an Independent Girl Scout, compiled hospitality guides in English and Spanish for families unfamiliar with the San Diego area and arranged free family portrait sessions with a photographer.
An enthusiasm for science inspired Victoria Ly and Maia Rosengarten, to share their knowledge with others. To expose her community to innovative technology, Ly of Carlsbad Girl Scout Troop 1288 held a Robotics Fair at the city library. Encinitas resident Rosengarten, a member of Troop 1217, conducted an energy audit of San Dieguito High School Academy. She convinced the staff of the Encinitas school to replace its incandescent light bulbs with more energy-efficient compact fluorescent lights.