Genevieve Wiechert created video series and Girl Scout patch program
DURHAM, NH – Helping Girl Scouts, their leaders, and even the general public to be aware of and understand the LGBT community, Gold Award Girl Scout Genevieve Wiechert has created an educational program to help make the world a better place.
To complete their Gold Award project, called Be a Sister to EVERY Girl Scout, Wiechert, 18, of Durham, also known as Evie, created a series of videos and a Girl Scout patch program addressing misconceptions about the LGBT community, understanding the range of gender and sexual identities, learning the terminology, and how to be an ally to everyone in that community. These videos are aimed more at adults, particularly Girl Scout troop leaders. For Girl Scouts themselves, Wiechert designed a patch program that girls of all ages can use to earn the Be a Sister to EVERY Girl Scout patch, addressing similar themes in an age-appropriate manner.
The Gold Award is Girl Scouting’s highest honor for girls in grades 9-12, the capstone achievement for a Girl Scout that changes the world for the better. Gold Award Girl Scouts spend more than 80 hours on their projects.
Wiechert identifies as queer, and worked from a very personal perspective.
“It was based on my experience in life,” they said. “I grew up in an area that’s rather tolerant. When you don’t know things, you say things to hurt other people, and that’s happened to me a couple of times.”
The “chronic lack of LGBT education that fuels prejudice” was what Wiechert wanted to address with this project. “Education is, in my opinion, the first step towards progress. An uneducated populace isn’t able to know what my community needs.”
Originally planning to take information to Girl Scout troops in person, Wiechert had to scrap much of the project once the pandemic forced schools to close and troop meetings online. Still, they persisted, and learned new skills to take the project to the internet.
“I gained a ton of flexibility,” they said. “I had to flip my project on the fly, learn editing programs, basic graphic design, and how to run a social media platform. I learned I’m a lot tougher than I realized.”
Wiechert began the project while in high school and as a Girl Scout Ambassador, but finished it as a freshman in college. The COVID-19 pandemic forced a change in plans for Wiechert and other girls working on their highest awards, but they were given extra time to complete their projects.
“I hope that this project will be more of a starting point than a one-stop shop for LGBT education,” they said. “I gave reading recommendations. I encourage people to keep reading and watching other LGBT content creators, movies, and documentaries. The nature of the community is that it’s always growing.”
Wiechert is now a psychology major at Colby-Sawyer College, with plans to specialize in forensic psychology. They are also interested in writing and child development, and said their ideal career would be as a prison psychologist for those in juvenile detention.
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.
Genevieve Wiechert has answered the call to drive lasting, impactful change, and their Gold Award is a testament to their remarkable dedication to improving their 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.
- Eleven 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.
Note: This press release was updated on June 14, 2021, to reflect an update in the use of Wiechert’s pronouns.