Monday, June 7, 2010

Bronze, Silver and Gold! By Guest Blogger, Donna Rivera-Downey


It's Award Season in Girl Scouts...Patches and pins are being awarded and the metallic theme of Bronze, Silver and Gold abounds. Each community has their own way of celebrating the girls' accomplishments. Some have them walk across wooden bridges; others have tea parties or large community gatherings. Some invite politicians and others invite only family members. Each celebration is special and will be remembered by the girls. One special ceremony for our girls is the Gold Award and Eagle Scout recognition ceremony by the County Executive.

This annual event is a way for County Executive Edward Mangano to recognize these Scouts for earning the highest recognition in their Scouting organization. He also is recognizing the value of their service to Nassau County. Yesterday, Mr. Mangano took time out of his busy schedule to greet these young men and women; he commemorated their accomplishment with an official citation and picture. This is the part the parents love! 210 boys earned their Eagle Scout rank while 66 girls earned their Gold Award this year. Why is there such a difference in the numbers? Maybe the answer lies in the way our award is earned.

At this year's ceremony, the Boy Scout speaker, James Fisher commented about the amount of work it takes to earn the Gold Award. He was astonished by the fact that our girls have to do work on their project alone, put in so many hours, usually tackle issues that impact a broader base of the community, and the effect of their project must be sustainable. These feature alone can make the attempt overwhelming, but those girls who earn their Gold Award are truly unique and should be praised.

Briana Lestage, a Gold Award recipient was our Girl Scout speaker. She spoke of her project which addressed the issue of Childhood Obesity. Briana focused on the values she has learned in Girl Scouting. She describes herself as a woman of integrity and it is obvious that she has incorporated the Girl Scout Promise and Law into how she lives her life. Briana and her sister Gold Award recipients have made a difference with their Gold Award projects and will continue to make a difference as they grow and mature as young women of distinction.
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Donna Rivera-Downey is the Director, Marketing for Girl Scouts of Nassau County. She became a professional Girl Scout in 2001 after 22 years in retail banking. A life-long Girl Scout who volunteered her time as a Girl Scout Leader for her daughter. Donna is active in the Hicksville-Jericho Rotary and serve as a trustee on the board of the Hicksville Public Library and Public Relation Professional of Long Island.

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