Tiffany Mayall, leader for Troop 10036 has worked with her middle schoolers since they were in Kindergarten. As she has gotten to know them, it seemed natural that when the time came, the troop would begin working towards their Highest Award, starting with the Bronze Award.
The Girl Scout Bronze Award is the highest honor a Junior Girl Scout can earn. For one troop of girls in Humboldt, Iowa, working on their Bronze Award Project allowed them to help residents at a local women’s shelter.
Tiffany Mayall, leader for Troop 10036 has worked with her middle schoolers since they were in Kindergarten. As she has gotten to know them, it seemed natural that when the time came, the troop would begin working towards their Highest Award, starting with the Bronze Award. To start the process, troops complete a Girl Scout Journey, and then begin their Bronze Award project. The idea is to explore the community the troop lives in and address a need. Troops must complete a minimum of 20 hours working on a project that is sustainable and girl-led before earning the prestigious award.
“We got on the topic of reusable bags, specifically makeup bags,” said Mayall, “What could we do with the accumulation of bags? I told the girls about the women’s shelter in Fort Dodge and they decided to fill makeup bags with things for the women there.”
The troop fundraised for their project supplies with a summer garage sale.
“The garage sale was probably the neatest way to see their growth. They came early and had a drop-off time for people to donate. Then, seeing them during the sale – taking money and interacting with people – was really cool. I stood back and just watched,” she said.
After collecting donations of new and gently used makeup bags from women at local churches and other organizations, the girls took the money and purchased an array of items to fill the bags with. Nail polish, makeup, mints, gum, bars of soap – time was spent brainstorming a long list of items.
“They [the Girl Scouts] lead the project through discussion and brainstorming. They took the opportunity to reach out to churches – it wasn’t me,” Mayall said.
The troop was able to fill a large number of makeup bags for the shelter, impacting the lives of many women and creating a lasting lesson on the Girl Scouts of helping others.
Today, Mayall said the troop has decided to use some of their cookie program profits from this year to create even more bags for the shelter, adding that although they don’t get to see the results, the girls feel good knowing they are doing the right thing.
“I think they know that it’s something nice that they’re doing for something else. We can’t always do things because we want to see a reward, but we can do it because we know it’s the right thing to do,” said Mayall.
The troop plans to work on their Silver Award as they grow into Cadette Girl Scouts, and have goals to become Gold Award Girl Scouts once there are Senior Girl Scouts.