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Gold Award Girl Scout dedicates her life to helping animals

Gold Award Website - Tabitha Nugent

Tabitha Nugent of Penacook earns Girl Scout’s highest honor

PENACOOK, NH – Having a passion for animals and making the world a better place for them has led Gold Award Girl Scout Tabitha Nugent to pursue a career as a veterinarian and educate others about how they can help protect animals. She has organized donations for pet shelters, created a mural and brochure for the Pope Memorial SPCA in Concord, created an educational website, and committed over 135 hours to working with animals at VCA Riverside Veterinary Hospital. She earned the highest honor possible for a high school Girl Scout for her work, the Girl Scout Gold Award.

Nugent, 19, of Penacook, said she wanted to make an impact in animals’ lives.

“Since I was young, I’ve always loved animals,” she said. “I’ve been vegetarian since 5 or 6. Animals don’t have a voice. We need to advocate for them.”

Nugent’s dedication to her passion resulted in many projects. She organized a pet donation drive which younger Girl Scouts assisted in, painted a mural that many people now take photos in front of at the Pope Memorial SPCA, created an informational brochure for the SPCA, built a website for her high school to explain her work, and committed to a job shadowing program that allowed her to experience the life of a veterinarian.

“She did a wonderful job executing her project and completing it in a timely and professional manner,” said her project advisor, Shannon Camara, director of outreach for the SPCA. “The brochure has been shared with new pet families who have adopted to help educate them as they begin their first steps in owning a pet.”

As Nugent worked on her project, she gained many skills, including leadership, commitment, follow-through, and real-life practice of caring for animals, like nail trims, laser treatments, dental treatments, and handling medical equipment.

“Handling death, which happened a lot,” was part of the job shadowing. “I learned to work as a team, professionalism, talking with clients and employees, time management,” and more.

Now a lifetime member of Girl Scouts, Nugent began as a Girl Scout Brownie in second grade. The COVID-19 pandemic put off a Girl Scout trip to the Azores in her final year, which she is looking forward to in the coming year. She also traveled with Girl Scouts to Hawaii, England, Ireland, and New York. She enjoyed camping and participating in Girl Scout jamborees. The Girl Scout Cookie program enabled her activities, as she sold over 1,000 packages to pay for her trip to Hawaii.

Nugent graduated from Merrimack Valley High School this past spring, where she was a three-season varsity athlete, played flute and piccolo in the marching band and jazz band, sang soprano in vocal ensemble, all while earning a 3.98 GPA. She is now a freshman at the University of New Hampshire studying biomedical science with plans to go on to the full four-year veterinary education. She looking forward to working with dogs, cats, and other small animals, possibly as a surgeon.

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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.

Sarah Hardy 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-two young women from New Hampshire and Vermont earned their Gold Award so far 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 

Girl Scouts of the Green and White Mountains serves girls throughout New Hampshire and Vermont through volunteer-run troops, events, and virtual programs. Visit to learn more.