Chloe Tardif created lacrosse clinic for Special Olympics
HUDSON, NH – Take a competitive elite lacrosse team, bring it together with Special Olympics, then add in a determined Girl Scout, and the result is a lacrosse clinic with a bright future that brings athletes of widely varying abilities together in a moment of cooperation, friendship, and joy.
Chloe Tardif, 18, of Hudson is that girl, and she is now a Gold Award Girl Scout for bringing it all together for her project, Special Olympics Lacrosse Clinic. The Gold Award is the highest honor available to a Girl Scout in high school, and is the capstone for her Girl Scout service.
“My project provided a fun and helpful opportunity for the athletes involved in Special Olympics,” said Tardif. “I wanted to create an exploratory lacrosse program in conjunction with my high school's lacrosse teams to offer clinics for Special Olympics athletes.”
She explained that the state Special Olympics program had cut the fall soccer program, due to a lack of interest, so her program filled the gap in the fall programming for the Special Olympics athletes in Hudson. “With the loss of soccer statewide, the athletes were left with one less activity to participate in, even leaving some athletes with nothing to do in the fall.”
Tardif is a lifelong athlete herself as well as a 13-year volunteer with Special Olympics because she has a sister with cerebral palsy. Despite playing soccer and basketball, as well as being in track and Nordic skiing, Tardif went in a whole new direction and chose lacrosse as a new sport for the Special Olympians and created the new clinic to do something extra for the athletes she worked with.
“They make my life so much brighter, and I try to do whatever I can to help brighten theirs,” she said. “I wanted to create something for them that was new, fun, and exciting. A gap in the fall programming was just the extra push.”
As an added bonus, the clinics helped to improve the motor skills and hand-eye coordination of each of the athletes. “This is important,” she said, “because it helps to improve their daily lives by making some tasks easier to accomplish.”
The clinic also helped with awareness among the volunteers of what the Special Olympians are capable of. “Some of the volunteers had not worked with or interacted with people with disabilities before,” she said, “so the program helped to inform and educate the volunteers on how to properly interact. It gave the athletes and partners a fun, new opportunity: the athletes got to try out a new sport and both the partners and the athletes got to meet lots of new people.”
Both her local program and the New Hampshire Tomahawks lacrosse team loved the program and expressed interest in continuing the program. Tardif said both programs hope to take her clinic and expand it to more locations. However, they were not able to expand this year due to the pandemic.
As a result of her hard work, Tardif has gained useful life skills, including public speaking, organizing, and motivating others. “I think this project definitely allowed me to grow as an individual,” she said. ‘I believe that I was able to greatly improve my public speaking skills because I had to address groups of thirty or so people every week. It was very important to be able to do this in order to ensure that everyone was able to stay safe and have fun.”
She encourages younger girls thinking about earning the Gold Award to go for it. “I think that it is definitely an amazing opportunity,” she said. “Don’t even think about how good it would look on college applications, think about how amazing it would be to help so many people! Along the way you also learn new skills that help you grow as an individual.”
Tardif is now a freshman at Northeastern University, with a combined major of business and psychology and a minor in Spanish.
Gold Award Girl Scouts don’t just change the world for the better, they change it for good. The Gold Award is earned by girls in grades 9–12 who demonstrate extraordinary leadership in developing sustainable solutions to local, national, and global challenges. Since 1916, Girl Scouts have answered the call to drive lasting, impactful change. They earn college scholarships, demonstrate high educational and career outcomes, and are active in their communities.
Chloe Tardif has answered the call to drive lasting, impactful change, and her Gold Award is a testament to her remarkable dedication to improving her community and the world. The Gold Award is the mark of the truly remarkable.
About the Girl Scout Gold Award
- Gold Award Girl Scouts on average spend one to two years on their project.
- A Gold Award project must be sustainable after the girl’s involvement ends.
- The average age of Gold Award Girl Scouts is 17.
- Since 1916, more than 1 million girls have earned the Gold Award or its equivalent.
- Gold Award Girl Scouts are entitled to enlist at a higher pay grade when they join the military.
- University research indicates that noting you are a Gold Award Girl Scout on a college application is influential in the admissions decision-making process.
- Ten young women from New Hampshire and Vermont earned their Gold Award in the 2019-2020 membership year as part of Girl Scouts of the Green and White Mountains.
- The Girl Scout Gold Award is the mark of the truly remarkable!
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 Girl Scout Leadership Experience is a one-of-a-kind leadership development program for girls, with proven results. It is based on time-tested methods and research-backed programming that helps girls take the lead—in their own lives and in the world. 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.