Coming up with a project for the Girl Scout Gold Star Award, was not an easy task for Green River Girl Scout Troop 1041 member Sheridan Sherwin.
Sherwin, who is now a student at Western Wyoming Community College, recalled how much time and effort went into just picking a project to obtain the award.
“I’d been thinking for a really long time what I’d like to do for my gold award,” Sherwin said.
She knew the project had to be worthy in order to obtain the Gold Star, but she just didn’t have an idea yet. According to www.girlscouts.org, “the Girl Scout Gold Award is the highest award Girl Scout seniors and ambassadors can earn.”
To earn the award, each girl must complete two senior or ambassador journeys or complete one senior or ambassador journey and have earned a Girl Scout Silver Award,” the website states. After completing either of these requirements, a minimum of 80 hours is suggested to complete the steps to earn the award.
Knowing how much work was going to be involved, Sherwin wanted to pick a project she knew she wouldn’t lose interest in. She knew she’d be spending a lot of time, an entire summer to be exact, on the same project.
The idea for her project came when she was a senior in Green River High School. While she was sitting in her biology class, the teacher was discussing how bees Colony Collapse Disorder was impacting the country. Sherwin knew at once this would be a great subject for her project.
Sherwin said she found out CCD is an abnormal phenomenon that occurs when the majority of worker bees in a colony disappear. The queen, plenty of food, and a few nurse bees are left behind to care for the remaining immature bees. What was so scary for Sherwin is how scientists have studied the phenomenon and still cannot figure out what causes it.
“To put it bluntly it freaked me out,” Sherwin said.
Once Sherwin knew what she wanted her project to be on, the next task was determining what she could do to make the community more aware of CCD.
She decided to host a community event to teach residents about CCD and what they could do to help save the bees. This event occurred in August at Indian Hill Park in Green River. During the informational event, Sherwin had the chance to educate residents on was CCD was and how they could help keep a healthy bee population going.
She told residents they buy local honey and produce, plant herbs and flowers that attract bees and pay more attention to what kinds of pesticides they are using on plants. Certain pesticides kill bees, she discovered through her research.
During the event, Sherwin showed attendees how to build bee baths, which are similar to bird baths, by gluing marbles to a plate. She also helped them decorate pots and place bee-friendly seeds in soil. These seeds would eventually turn into bee-friendly plants.
Sherwin noticed two big reactions from her event: either the resident had heard about CCD before or they hadn’t. Those who hadn’t heard about it before, had the same shocked response she had upon finding out about the phenomenon. However, those who had heard about CCD were ready to find out what else they could do to help.
Not only did Sherwin learn about CCD, but she learned valuable skills that will help her in the future.
“It gave me communication and time-management skills I will definitely carry with me all my life,” Sherwin said.
She learned how to ask for help and delegate tasks, which is something she has struggled with in the past. Sherwin also learned that a good idea, along with hard work, research, and dedication can earn her the highest honor a Girl Scout can ever achieve: the Gold Star Award.