The Girl Scout Gold Award is the most prestigious award that a Girl Scout can earn. It’s a select few who successfully achieve the highest award that can be earned in the organization. In fact, fewer than six percent of Girl Scouts are awarded the Gold Award each year. Bethany Schaeffer, a caregiver at Monument Health Sturgis Hospital through the Project Search program, and a senior at Sturgis Brown High School, earned her Gold Award this year.
It requires a significant investment of time and effort to fulfill the requirements of the award, and then a Girl Scout has to plan and implement a Take Action project that will have a positive impact on an issue that they’re passionate about.
“The Gold Award is the highest award you can get in Girl Scouts, and your project should be on something that you are really passionate about,” explained Bethany. “I have epilepsy, and not many people actually know much about it, so that’s my background for the project.”
Bethany spent more than 40 hours over the course of three months to make her Epilepsy Awareness Project a success. She spent a lot of time researching epilepsy, different treatments, medication options and other factors that can affect those with epilepsy. She then wrote scripts about this information, and made educational videos that she posted online for those that might be struggling with the condition or simply want to learn more about it.
In addition to her achievement, Bethany is also a valued member of the Monument Health team. Eric Robertson, Operations Manager of Food and Nutrition at Monument Health Sturgis Hospital, supervises Bethany as a food service worker. “She’s a great worker. Bethany is always eager to help, and we’re happy to have her here,” Eric said.
Bethany has been involved with the Girl Scouts for 13 years, and after earning the organization’s highest honor, she plans to use what she’s learned to help others. “Girl Scouts has helped teach me valuable life skills,” Bethany said. “I recently became a Girl Scout leader, so I help teach other girls those skills. I want to help others achieve their goals too.”