For 17-year-old Abigail Walston, helping out at the Bridge to Home homeless shelter is more than just a requirement for her Girl Scouts Gold Award, it’s about helping people in the community.
The Gold Award is the equivalent of the Eagle Scout rank in the Boy Scouts and, for each, a major community service project must be done in order to achieve them. Since Walston had already been volunteering and doing other community service projects for the organization, having Bridge to Home be the recipient of her project was a no-brainer.
“I just really love volunteering here,” said Abigail. “I think it’s a really wonderful opportunity to be able to help these people. So I thought, what better place to have my Gold Award project?”
Abigail worked on the project for months, building four planter boxes by hand and documenting the whole process on Facebook. Two planters held flowers and the other two held vegetable seeds. Abigail’s dad, Tim, said the project was both a beautification project and a way to inspire residents to grow their own food.
“It’s an amazing journey that they’ve been on. It’s been a wonderful influence on their life, they’ve had so many adventures,” said Tim. “This is the final culmination for this kind of independent project, and it’s very gratifying and I’m really really proud of her.”
Abigail’s sister, Emma, also achieved the Gold Award and said it was a great source of pride to watch her sister also be able to work toward the honor. Emma said giving back to the community is an important part of being a Scout.
“I think it’s something that everybody should get the chance to do. It’s really important to both engage with your own community and also just be able to give back to it a bit because I think that’s something that a lot of people don’t really get the chance to do,” said Emma. “I think, for Girl Scouts in particular… It’s taught us a lot of really wonderful life skills. We’ve made a lot of really good friends. It’s a really fantastic thing that we do.”
Abigail’s mom, Kelly, was equally proud of her daughter and said the Girl Scouts have taught valuable lessons to both of her children.
“I mean, they both have been in it since kindergarten and it has been the most amazing enriching experience for them, just growth as kids and individuals,” said Kelly. “They do things on their own with the troop without Mom and Dad early on, and I think that fosters such fantastic independence for them.”
To see Abigail’s journey building the planters visit: https://bit.ly/3pc9tWS