Girl Scout earns Gold Award with Patch Middle School project

Patch Middle School has a new garden, created to educate science students. Photo by Glenn K. Dickenson

By Girl Scout Ambassador Rachael Dickenson
Junior, Stuttgart High School

As the school year came to a close, I neared the end of my year-long Girl Scout Gold Award project of building an educational garden at Patch Middle School.

I decided to build a garden and educate students at Patch after I noticed that the existing gardens were about to be removed for the demolition and reconstruction of adjacent Patch Elementary School.

First, I took action by organizing and executing construction of a new garden next to the portable classrooms. My purpose was to get the students interested in working with their peers and developing community, growing their own food, and learning more about where their food comes from.  I succeeded with my project mainly due to the cooperation and support I received from the school and the team of fellow scouts and family who helped me create the garden. I also received help from the garrison Directorate of Public Works personnel. DPW authorized the garden’s construction and provided much of the necessary materials, such as edging and gardening soil.

Girl Scout Ambassador and SHS junior Rachael Dickenson is show in her Gold Award project garden. Photo by Glenn K. Dickenson

As part of my project, I also spent a day at the school introducing the 6th grade students to their new garden and discussing gardening with them. My presentation included a summary of the benefits of organic and garden-grown foods, along with the responsibilities of caring for a garden and the fun that can be had working with friends and family members.

Sixth grade science curriculum at Patch Middle School features several labs on growing plants and studying their development. I hope to enhance an educational experience by providing proper gardening space for the classes to use.

A busy schedule for both the school and the Girl Scout team made the project a long and intensive one, but to me, the accomplishment was worth the struggle. This was definitely a learning experience for me. Managing the dynamics of my team, as well as individual interactions with students and teachers at the middle school, was a beneficial experience for all involved.

The new garden constructed by Girl Scout Troop 009 for my Girl Scout Gold Award project will be maintained by science classes at Patch Middle School and their families for years to come.

The Girl Scout Gold Award aims to make a meaningful difference in the local community as well as build leadership and organization skills in the individual earning the award. The Boy Scout Eagle Service Project is similar.