Center Harbor teen’s project helped Moultonborough Academy
MOULTONBOROUGH, NH | When a Girl Scout takes on a Gold Award project, it’s hard to say who benefits the most – the girl or those the project is meant to help. In the case of Elizabeth Eaton of Center Harbor, both she and her high school, Moultonborough Academy are far better off. Eaton earned Girl Scout’s highest honor, the Gold Award, on Oct. 10, for her project, “Spirit, Sportsmanship, and Storage.”
Elizabeth spent more than 100 hours working to improve school spirit and sportsmanship at Moultonborough Academy, along with providing a new storage shed and a place to sell snacks at sporting events. The public school educates about 350 middle and high schoolers in the Lakes Region of New Hampshire.
In a small school, each student fills many roles, and Eaton was active as an athlete and student, as well as a Girl Scout. Creating a sense of school spirit and sportsmanship, as well as solving the issue of a lack of storage for the school athletes became her Gold Award project.
“I just heard so many stories of bigger schools with pep rallies and having stands full of fans,” she said. “I wanted to bring a big-school spirit to our small school.”
Elizabeth concentrated on the basketball season, setting up events to create excitement, like giving some fans the best seat in the house - a couch set right in front of the bleachers, complete with snacks. She gave awards to opposing teams for good sportsmanship, and hosted a halftime shot competition. By the end of the season, more fans were coming out to cheer the teams on, and one of their teams won a statewide sportsmanship award.
The school has a lot of equipment for its athletes, but getting that equipment to the fields was a problem. “Coaches would have to put things in their cars,” she said. “We needed to make it easier for people to have access. She decided a storage shed located near the fields was the answer, and got the school’s softball coach, Tom Dawson, along with his family, and others, to help with construction. Middleton Building Supply donated and discounted the building supplies not only for the shed, but also for a snack shack and recycling bins. Coleman Concrete and TDC Concrete donated and poured the concrete slab for the shed.
“The largest obstacle was finding people to help me at first,” said Elizabeth. “Students at a small school are busy all the time. Luckily, I was about to find a small group of people who helped run the events with me.” She added that she thanks all who helped her, as “I would not be able to do this on my own.”
The Gold Award project was a lesson in time management and delegation for Elizabeth. “My school year was extremely busy, and adding this project increased the chaos; however, even from the beginning, I could imagine the impact and knew it would be worth it,” she wrote in her final project report. She challenged herself and gained skills in management, organization, leadership and courage. “I had to make tough decisions and solve problems I had never faced before, and I got through all of them.”
Her project created a sustainable solution to the problem of equipment storage, and she believes the drive for spirit and sportsmanship will continue.
Elizabeth is now a freshman at Wheaton College in Norton, Mass., as a biochemistry major with an eye toward a medical degree. She is sure to put to use the many skills she gained as a G.I.R.L. (Go-getter, Innovator, Risk-taker, Leader)™ while completing her Gold Award project. 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 can 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.
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.
- 16 young women have earned their Gold Award in the past 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 www.girlscoutsgwm.org.