June 2024


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Sunday, June 16, 2024

Berthoud Girl Scout Receives Gold Award at Denver Celebration

By Laurie Hindman
Berthoud Recorder

On top of maintaining a superior academic record, playing on the tennis team and donating numerous community service hours, Berthoud High junior Katie Essig spent the past two years working on the Gold Award, the highest achievement in Girl Scouts.

The equivalent of the Boy Scout’s Eagle Award, the prestigious Gold is the single most demanding award that a Girl Scout can earn. Before a girl can begin to work on the Gold, she must meet a number of requirements. Beyond earning certain badges, they must complete 30 volunteer hours in a leadership role, followed by 40 hours of career exploration. The Gold project entails a minimum of 65 hours of work, must meet a need in the Scout’s community and have a long-term impact. The Scout is completely responsible for every phase of the project from the research and planning to the fundraising and implementation.

But it was all worth it Monday night when Katie, along with 30 other Girl Scouts from across the Front Range and their families, were honored at an elegant ceremony at the El Jebel Temple in Denver that included a performance by a bagpipe and drum group and video presentations of the girls’ service projects.

Katie’s project was two years in the making and culminated in a “scavenger hunt” at the Thompson Valley Pioneer Museum in Berthoud. Katie chose the museum for her service project because history is her favorite subject and she has many fond memories of visiting the museum as a child. Katie developed a pamphlet, similar to the junior ranger programs, where elementary-aged children complete a booklet as they tour the museum in search of certain artifacts and historical items.

“It’s fantastic,” said museum director, Tom Vaughn. “Katie did a terrific job with this.” Vaughn said that Katie was required to test her project by inviting groups of children from the community to tour the museum using the booklet. “They got a real kick out if it. They paid attention and had fun and even learned something.”

Katie said it was a great experience. “It took a lot of hours and dedication, but I’m glad I did it.” Katie said that the Gold award opens doors for girls through scholarships, college admissions and even job opportunities.

Sue Essig, Katie’s mom and Troop leader said she is thrilled with Katie’s accomplishment. “Actually I am a really proud parent of a Gold Award, but I also have six girls who earned their Silver Award. This is a great group of girls.”

Rachael Carter, Maggie Essig (Katie’s sister), Emilie Henning, Eva Henning, Catherine Neitenbach and Jamie Neitenbach all earned their Silver Award Monday night. Like Katie, the six will now begin the arduous, but rewarding journey towards the ultimate Girl Scout achievement, the Gold Award.

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<p>Katie Essig, a BHS junior, received the Gold Award Monday night at the El Jebel Temple in Denver. The Gold Award is the highest achievement in Girl Scouts and the culmination of many hours of hard work and community service.</p>

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