Amanda Fulton of Amherst earned Girl Scouting’s highest honor with project to educate the public and provide bats with safe places to rest and breed
AMHERST, NH – In less than 10 years, a fungus causing white-nose syndrome has killed more than 90 percent of three North American bat species, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. Saving and propagating the few that are left is so important to Gold Award Girl Scout Amanda Fulton that she gave more than 90 hours of her time to build and distribute bat boxes and educate the public on the issue.
Fulton, 17, of Amherst, is a senior at Souhegan High School and a Girl Scout Ambassador who earned Girl Scouting’s highest honor, the Gold Award, for her work to save these crucial members of the food web.
“Bats are cute!” said Fulton, who’s had a lifelong fascination with the animals. “Bats in the western world are very misunderstood. They are really good for the environment. They pollinate plants. They don’t spread disease any more than any other animal.”
Since the day she was a Brownie watching older Girl Scouts get their Gold Award, she has wanted to reach that highest honor herself, and said she always thought doing something for the environment would be her topic. Knowing how endangered bats are, she set out to help bats locally. Her project, “Helping Bats and Educating Communities,” encompassed two big efforts: building and hanging bat boxes and making presentations to local communities to educate people on the how to help bats revive.
Not only is white-nose syndrome killing bats, she said, so is habitat destruction, deforestation, climate change, and wind-powered energy.
“Having varied roosting habitats helps to slow the spread of white-nose syndrome,” she said, “as well as gives bats safe places to rest. I also made it clear on my website and infographic how and where people could donate to help the research into white-nose syndrome.”
You can see her website at https://amandafulton4.wixsite.com/website
Ultimately, Fulton was able to present her work to more than 100 people in New Boston and Mont Vernon, including to Girl Scout day campers in Bedford who helped make bat boxes. She distributed brochures in Amherst, New Boston, and Mont Vernon, and did outreach online. She placed three bat boxes in New Boston and provided three more to the New Boston Forestry Commission to replace worn boxes or simply mount them on tree.
Her project advisor, Tom Miller of the New Boston Forestry Commission promised to keep an eye on the bat boxes. “Anything we can do for the declining bat population has got to help,” he said.
Fulton has been in Girl Scouts since she was 6 years old. She said she likes doing service projects and particularly enjoyed helping with the Nashua Children’s Home. Being high-achieving by nature, she wanted to keep going through the entire Girl Scout program, and encouraged other girls to go for the Gold Award.
“It’s easier than it looks on paper,” she said. “When you pick something you actually care about, it seems like it goes pretty fast. It’s gratifying when you reach the end and make a difference.”
At school, Fulton is a varsity cross-country skier, a New Hampshire Scholar with a distinction in arts, is in the National Honor Society and Spanish National Honor Society. She’s currently applying to colleges, planning to major in international or global affairs. Her dream job would be working at the United Nations or an international embassy.
● ● ●
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.
Amanda Fulton 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.
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.
- Twenty-nine young women from New Hampshire and Vermont earned their Gold Award in the 2020-2021 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.
We Are Girl Scouts
Girl Scouts bring their dreams to life and work together to build a better world. Through programs from coast to coast, Girl Scouts of all backgrounds and abilities can be unapologetically themselves as they discover their strengths and rise to meet new challenges—whether they want to climb to the top of a tree or the top of their class, lace up their boots for a hike or advocate for climate justice, or make their first best friends. Backed by trusted adult volunteers, mentors, and millions of alums, Girl Scouts lead the way as they find their voices and make changes that affect the issues most important to them. To join us, volunteer, reconnect, or donate, visit girlscouts.org.
Girl Scouts of the Green and White Mountains serves girls throughout New Hampshire and Vermont through volunteer-run troops, events, and virtual programs. Visit www.girlscoutsgwm.org to learn more.