Eighteen-year-old Coffee County native Hannah Martin recently earned the highest ranking award available to Girl Scouts thanks to her efforts to provide a little comfort to others.
As a part of Troop 1319 in Manchester, Martin worked hard as to receive the Gold Award, completing many hours of community service working on a project to provide comfort to people in hospice care.
For her Gold Award project Martin constructed a bookshelf and stocked it with books, movies and games to be used by patients of Compassus Hospice and Palliative Care in Tullahoma.
Martin attributed her interest in helping senior citizens to the close relationship she had with her grandparents as a child.
“My grandparents were a big part of my life,” she said. “Because I was so close with my grandparents, I’ve been better able to make connections with other senior citizens and serve them accordingly.”
Martin has been involved in the Girl Scouts since she became a Daisy Scout when she was 5 years old. Thirteen years later, Martin has stepped outside the box to receive an award not many Girl Scouts receive.
The Gold Award is the highest award that a Girl Scout can receive. It is awarded only after rigorous hours of planning and execution have been met. The basis of the award is for Girl Scouts to give back to the community locally by using means of services to others.
According the Girl Scouts of America website, this award is only open to girls in high school. The Girl Scout Gold Award is the most prestigious and most difficult award to earn within the Girl Scouts. Prospective Gold Award Girl Scouts are challenged to change the world, even if it’s just in their own communities.
The Gold Award encompasses all areas of expertise in STEM, agriculture, medicine and education by inspiring young women to become leaders and make the world a better place. By the time a Girl Scout places the final touches on her project, she will have solved a community issue not just for short term, but for the long term as well.
There are seven steps that are recognized when a Girl Scout begins to think about when wanting to obtain her Gold award. The seven steps according to the website, are:
• Identify an issue by using values and skills to choose a community issue the Girl Scout cares about.
• Investigate it thoroughly by using skills to learn everything the Girl Scout can about the issue they previously identified.
• Get help and build a team to support the efforts and help the scout take action.
• Create a plan to tackle the issue previously identified.
• Present a plan and gather feedback by submitting a project proposal form to the appropriate Girl Scout council for approval.
• Take action as the scout leads her team to carry out the plan of action.
• Educate and inspire others by telling the scout’s story and sharing the results with others.
When Martin began her seven steps to her Gold Award, she began to think about the ways she had helped the community before.
“For my Bronze Award, my troop and I landscaped a local nursing home,” said Martin. “For my Silver Award, I coordinated games and activities with senior citizens at McArthur Manner. So for my Gold Award, I knew I wanted to help seniors and impact the community on a larger scale.”
Martin said she understands the needs of the patients and clients at Compassus because her mother is the pharmacist who fills their prescriptions.
“I also wanted to donate something to a hospice because the oldest registered Girl Scout is currently in hospice,” said Martin.
By following her steps, Martin found support within her church community to help fill the shelves of the bookshelf she was going to build. Many of the books, games and movies were donated to Martin so that she could complete her community project. There are even T-shirt book bags that have been handmade to carry items from the bookshelf by patients and clients so that they don’t get damaged during transportation.
From start to finish, Martin put in 85 hours of planning, implementing and constructing the project for Compassus.
The staff at Compassus is grateful for Martin’s contribution to their organization and understands the importance of the Gold Award Martin is receiving.
“It’s amazing that there are still young women participating in scouts,” said Compassus Volunteer Julia Logan-Mayes. “Girl Scouts is really service oriented and such a great thing to do and be a part of. I like when the projects of young women like Hannah can be highlighted because a lot of young people are doing things like this anymore. It affects our community because our patients and clients can come and rent books, movies and games to enjoy with their family. Hannah did a great service to our town by providing this fully furnished library.”
In addition to completing her Gold Award for Girl Scouts, Martin has also recently finished her first year of college at Fortis Institute in Cookeville.
“Being that my mom is a pharmacist for Compassus, and the previous work I’ve done with seniors, I’ve always had a passion for the medical field,” Martin said. “I’ve always wanted to go into the medical field as a nurse or something related to that so I’m studying radiologic technology.”
Martin wants to encourage all girls to become involved with Girl Scouts as it was a fun learning experience for her.
“Over all the years I spent in Girl Scouts, I had so much fun. I went to a lot of camps and events. You make so many new friends and get to meet a lot of interesting people.
“Girl Scouts has been a learning experience that I won’t forget,” Martin added. “It teaches you how to take leadership and do things out of your comfort zone.”
While many people think of cookies when they think of the Girl Scouts, look beyond the delicious treats and see how the service work that local troops are performing impact the community every day in a bigger way.
For those interested in learning more about Girl Scouts, visit www.girlscouts.org. Through the website, you can find a Girl Scout troop near you and find ways to get involved with the Girl Scouts in your community. Girl Scout Troop 1319 covers Manchester and Girl Scouts of Middle Tennessee can be reached at 615-383-0490 or by visiting www.gsmidtn.org.
Faith Few can be reached by email at email@example.com.