By Brett Milam
More than 30 Girl Scouts from the Cincinnati area, including Loveland, received the Gold Award, the highest honor in the Girl Scouts, on March 5.
The Girl Scout Gold Award is an honor for Girl Scouts grades nine through 12, who “use their vision for change to complete a service project that reaches beyond the Girl Scout organization and provides lasting benefit to the larger community,” the Girl Scouts of Western Ohio said in a news release.
To earn the award, girls commit, at minimum, 80 hours to a specific project over one or two years and must include innovation, community involvement, project sustainability and educating and inspiring others.
Girl Scouts from Loveland include Claire Belcik, for her project Granny’s Garden Beautification, Hannah Matuszak, for her project, Loveland Lego Legends website and Cara Rasmussen, for her project, Coding Club.
Belcik is a senior at Loveland High School and has been a Girl Scout for 13 years, according to officials with the Girl Scouts of Western Ohio.
“Inspired by Granny’s Garden powerful role in her community, Claire decided to revitalize their garden bed fences through a beautification and educational platform,” GSWO’s website said. “Claire incorporated new fences that display motivational words, such as ‘friendship, responsibility, pride, and respect.’ To pair with each of these words of inspiration, Claire developed lesson plans for students who visit the gardens.”
Matuszak is a 2016 graduate of Loveland High School and has also been a Girl Scout for 13 years.
“Hannah observed that most students aren’t interested in coding because they believe it is too complicated, does not apply to their lives, and that it can’t be a leisurely activity. Her project inspired students to be more involved with and interested in STEM, particularly coding,” GSWO’s website said. “She helped students learn the basics of coding and to understand the impact that technology will have on their futures and careers.”
Rasmussen is a senior at Loveland High School and has also been with the Girl Scouts for 13 years.
“After noticing there were no computer coding learning opportunities available to younger students, Cara developed and presented the idea of a ‘Coding Club’ to the Technology Instructor for her school district,” GSWO’s website said. “She developed curriculum that included programming basics and computer efficiency.”
“These young women are courageous leaders and visionary change makers,” Roni Luckenbill, chief executive officer of GSWO, said. “It’s truly amazing what these girls are able to accomplish at such a young age. They are our future, and it looks bright!”
To learn more about the girls and their projects, go to gswo.org/goldawardslocal.
Editor’s Note: The original version of this story had a typo in the headline. Originally, the headline said the Loveland girls “when” Scouting Gold Award.