Sage Herr of Campton earns Girl Scout Gold Award with “Feel Good Geocaching”
CAMPTON, NH – There has long been a stigma about getting help for mental wellness, and with the COVID-19 pandemic, many among us have struggled with that issue. Girl Scout Ambassador Sage Herr took action to help by getting people outdoors to find hidden treasures with her project, “Feel Good Geocaching.”
The Gold Award is the highest honor a Girl Scout in high school can earn, requiring at least 80 hours of service on a project that makes the world a better place.
Herr, 17, of Campton, decided to create wellness-themed geocaches because being outdoors and getting exercise has been shown to improve mental health and happiness.
“I created seven ‘feel-good’ themed geocaches and placed them outside in the woods, four of which I put on hiking trails,” she said. “These caches contain little keepsakes made of clay, a notebook and pen, and a laminated slip of paper with wellness/inspirational quotes. Two caches even contained small stuffed animals. I then placed their coordinates on the official geocaching website, and, for those near large towns, created a brief set of instructions on how to find the caches. I gave these directions to three community centers, such as a homeless shelter or library, so that those who do not have access to a GPS could still find the caches. By doing this, I helped encourage people to get outside and to find these feel-good caches.”
Herr not only registered her caches on the site geocaching.com, she placed notices about them at a homeless shelter, library, and laundromat. All are an easy walk that don’t require serious hiking. She placed three caches in Lincoln, one in Plymouth, and another three in the Campton-Thornton area. She’s already had good feedback on them.
“It’s been really cool,” she said. “Sometimes people are just passing through and they found mine and liked it. Or people take their kids, and it’s really cool receiving that feedback. Over time, people keep finding them, so I keep receiving feedback.”
Through the work on her Gold Award, Herr sharpened her skills in time management, troubleshooting and logistics. She found the experience worthwhile and encourages others to go for it, being sure to have everything planned out.
Herr grew up in the outdoors, part of a family of avid hikers. She began hiking at the age of just 3 years old, and is the youngest person to have completed the “grid” – hiking all 48 of New Hampshire’s 4,000-foot mountains in every month of the year – 576 ascents. She began that project around age 11 and finished at age 16.
“I’m a big hiker,” she said. “On June of 2021, my family and I – my mother, sister, and myself – finished the grid. It was a big endeavor.”
She has spent years in Girl Scouts, partly with a troop where she enjoyed camporees, selling cookies, and taking trips, and also as an independent member of Girl Scouts, taking advantage of the many online and in-person opportunities offered.
Herr is now a junior at The Oliverian School in Pike, a college-prep boarding school, and is considering colleges and what her future holds.
● ● ●
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.
Sage Herr 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.
- Thirty young women from New Hampshire and Vermont earned their Gold Award in the 2021-2022 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.