PUTNAM COUNTY — Three Girl Scouts from Putnam County received the
prestigious Girl Scout Gold Award from Girl Scouts of Western Ohio in a
ceremony held Sunday, March 9, at the University of Dayton.
Girl Scout Gold Award is the highest award that Girl Scouts in grades
9-12 may earn; only six percent of Girl Scouts nationwide earn the
award. The efforts put forth express a special commitment by the
recipient to herself, her community, and her future. The required steps
for this award are chosen to help Scouts develop 21st century skills,
practice leadership, explore a need in the community and the world, and
learn more about themselves. Each young lady dedicates at least 80 hours
to her project over a time span of one to two years.
Two members of Troop 20032 from Fort Jennings, Elaina Maag, and Kristen Maag, earned their Gold Award.
a 13-year Girl Scout member, knew there was a need to prepare young
girls for babysitting duties. “I had heard horror stories about
babysitting,” Elaina related. “My cousin was babysitting, and the child
(for whom she was babysitting) began coughing up blood. She didn’t know
what to do.” Luckily, the situation turned out for the best, and the
In the spring of 2013, Elaina began researching
the correct procedures for emergency preparedness and basic first aid.
With that information, she put together a babysitting preparedness
curriculum designed for young girls and advertised it in the community. A
guest speaker, whom Elaina located through a babysitting organization
that provides safety courses, delivered the content. Elaina conducted a
post-class survey of participants to determine if the girls found the
class useful; the response was very positive. She recruited volunteers
to film the class and then produced a short video. Elaina presented the
video to Fort Jennings High School students, which sparked small group
discussions. The video will continue to be a resource tool for schools
and community groups. Elaina intends to approach the town council, as
well as other Girl Scout troops, to locate future presenters to ensure
sustainability of her project.
Elaina currently attends Bowling
Green State University, and is majoring in Nursing. In addition to the
Gold Award, she also earned the Girl Scout Bronze and Silver Awards.
Maag, another 13-year Girl Scout member, interviewed community members
and learned that classes on the topics of CPR (cardiopulmonary
resuscitation) and first aid were viewed as costly and were not offered
locally. She set out to create a course that would be both cost
effective and accessible in her small village. Kristen partnered with
the American Heart Association, which provided a staff member to serve
as the instructor. She set up a local class for a minimal price; 10
people were certified. She recruited volunteers to film the class and
then produced a short video. Kristen presented the video to students at
Fort Jennings High School. Students approached the school and the
American Heart Association about forming a partnership to certify
graduating FJHS seniors, which ensured that her project will be
sustained in the community.
Kristen is currently attending the
Navy Reserve boot camp in Great Lakes, IL. She is also a freshman at The
Ohio State University, where she is majoring in Psychology. In addition
to the Gold Award, she was a Girl Scout Bronze Award and Silver Award
recipient. The third Putnam County Girl Scout to receive the Gold Award
was rural Cloverdale resident Taryn Homier. Taryn is an 11-year member
of Oakwood Troop 20529, and has previously earned the Girl Scout Bronze
and Silver Awards.
Taryn’s project, which she named “Growing for
Others,” focused on the hunger crisis in her community. “I always
noticed there were a lot of people who didn’t get enough food. Some
families in my community do not have the amount of food they need,” said
the Wayne Trace sophomore.
After she identified a need for access
to fresh produce, Taryn approached her church, the Dupont Church of the
Brethren, for space to plant a garden. She designed a vegetable garden
and enlisted the help of friends and community members for material and
labor. Taryn coordinated volunteers from five different communities, and
oversaw the planting, harvesting, and weeding of the garden plot
throughout the summer of 2013. All the crops that were harvested were
donated to food pantries in Putnam, Paulding, and Defiance Counties,
including the Dupont Church of the Brethren, and the Putnam County
Taryn created a pamphlet about growing produce,
which was distributed with vegetable seed packets at food pantries to
educate and encourage others to begin gardening. She estimated that all
together, she spent 110 hours on her project.
With the help of her church family, Taryn is planning to grow produce again this summer.