It took two years of planning, executing, and presenting a community service project, but Seacrest Junior Saffron Buxton has earned her Girl Scouts Gold Award (see below for images).
"It's the highest honor you can achieve in Girl Scouts," says Saffron, who started her Girl Scouts journey as a Daisy. "It's at least 70 hours of community service."
To earn a Gold Award, a Girl Scout must research and present a community service project that will impact the community and showcase leadership skills. Candidates must submit their Gold Award project idea to counsel, who must approve the project. Once completed, candidates must re-submit their project and show they've met the goals outlined at the beginning of the project. The Girl Scouts Gold Award is the equivalent to being an Eagle Scout, for those familiar with the hierarchy in Boy Scouts.
Less than a dozen other Girl Scouts in Southwest Florida earned a Gold Award this year.
"It took a lot of work, and a lot of time, effort, and coordination to get it all done," says Saffron. "You have to be really dedicated to what you're doing. I feel a sense of accomplishment."
Saffron developed her Gold Award project to help dogs at the Humane Society Naples. She assembled fleece, no-sew dog blankets that would stay with each dog who got adopted or fostered. "That way, it gave the dog some consistency," she says. "It's like a kid with a favorite toy."
She also created brochures for families about what to expect when adopting a shelter dog.
Saffron held seminars and workshops at the Humane Society Naples and at Temple Shalom where she taught other people how to make the blankets. Saffron presented to other Girl Scout troops, children who have special needs, and even other Seacrest students.
Saffron's older sister, Cameron, a 2015 Seacrest graduate, also earned her Gold Award. Saffron says Cameron is the reason she joined Girl Scouts to begin with, but quickly fell in love with the community spirit the Girl Scouts fostered.
"I went into it because it always seemed cool, I could see the older girls and what they were doing with their cookie booths or when they went camping and it created such a good community," says Saffron.
Congratulations to Saffron for this incredible achievement!