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Cailinn Monahan of Strafford earns Girl Scout Gold Award

Gold Award Website - Cailinn Monahan

Spreading positivity is aim of The Power Within! project

BEDFORD, NH | Many of us, particularly girls and women, are our own worst critics and hard on ourselves. Cailinn Monahan, 18, of Strafford, N.H., wanted to change that, to encourage everyone to find the power within themselves to keep on track, get through bad times, and to make it through difficult situations. Her Gold Award project, titled The Power Within!, was designed to spread positivity, to empower and inspire others, and remind all that they are not alone.

The Girl Scout Gold Award is earned by taking on a project in her community that will stand the test of time, have a real and meaningful influence on people’s lives, and leave a legacy that will last forever. It is the highest level of achievement a Girl Scout can earn.

To earn her Gold Award, Cailinn created a Facebook group ( where she shared inspirational photos and memes, as well as sharing her Gold Award journey; wrote a story about her senior year and the struggles she went through; and created a rock-painting project. She went to Strafford School and Oyster River High School to paint positive messages on rocks with the students, then had them leave the rocks with people who they felt needed them. She also left rocks everywhere she could think of: gas stations, a lake swimming area, for waiters and waitresses. She even took six of her inspirational rocks with her on a Girl Scout trip to Iceland this summer, leaving them on a beach near a lighthouse. She continues to paint rocks today, and hopes her Facebook page will spread and become a help to others.

“The main thing I want is for people to understand is that they have the power within themselves to pull themselves out of a situation,” she said. “They can be their own superhero.”

A self-described “theater geek,” Cailinn said the idea sprang from an annual show she watched at school on suicide, and wanted someone to come to the main character’s rescue. She began journaling and wanted to make that a bigger project. She hopes at some point to create a play on the topic.

“It’s a dream of mine to write a play that hits the audience,” she said.

Cailinn is now a freshman at the University of Colorado, majoring in exercise science with an eye on a doctorate in physical therapy. She said her Gold Award project helped her through tough times of her own.

“It’s helped me to empower myself,” she said. “I’ve also joined the Air Force ROTC. Through my project, it has helped me with self confidence.”

Now that Cailinn is in college, she has bridged to adult status in Girl Scouts, but said she plans to volunteer with local troops and has been contacted by some to speak with girls about the Gold Award process over her winter break.

“I hope to eventually (in a few years) have a daughter in Girl Scouts so I can help to give her the amazing experience that I was fortunate to have!” she said.

Cailinn exemplifies the Girl Scout DNA and takes the lead as a G.I.R.L. (Go-Getter, Risk-Taker, Innovator, Leader)™. The Gold Award is one of the most challenging, exciting, and rewarding experiences a girl can have, and one of the most prestigious recognitions she’ll accomplish in life. Gold Award Girl Scouts earn college scholarships and enter the military at a higher rank. And it’s only available at Girl Scouts.

Since 1916, Girl Scouts have been making meaningful, sustainable change in their communities and around the world. The Girl Scout Gold Award acknowledges the power behind each recipient’s dedication to not only empowering and bettering herself, but also to making the world a better place for others. Gold Award Girl Scouts are courageous leaders and visionary change makers.

About the Girl Scout Gold Award

  • Gold Award Girl Scouts on average spend one to two years on their project.
  • The average age of Gold Award Girl Scouts is 17.
  • Since 1916, 1 million girls have earned the Gold Award or its equivalent.
  • Gold Award Girl Scouts who join the armed forces enter one rank higher than other recruits.
  • University research indicates that noting you are a Gold Award Girl Scout on a college application is influential in the admissions decision-making process.
  • A Gold Award project must be sustainable after the girl’s involvement ends.
  • 11 young women earned their Gold Award last year in New Hampshire and Vermont as part of Girl Scouts of the Green and White Mountains.

About Girl Scouts of the Green and White Mountains: Girl Scouts of the Green and White Mountains is recognized throughout New Hampshire and Vermont as a leading expert on girls. Our innovative leadership programs help girls discover, connect, and take action as they develop strong values, a social conscience, and a deep sense of self and their potential. Through our exciting and challenging programs, Girl Scouts not only participate but also take the lead in a range of activities—from kayaking, archery, and camping, to coding, robotics, financial literacy training, and beyond! Serving more than 10,000 girls throughout New Hampshire and Vermont, girls discover the fun, friendship, and power of girls together. Visit