Hiding in the woods…

……an hour outside of Manhattan, I spent last Thursday and Friday (without Nicole) in a woodsy conference center helping to choose the 2013 National Young Women of Distinction for Girl Scouts USA. In 2011 I was honored to have been selected myself to receive the title, and, a year later, I was asked to be on the selection panel choosing the next class. I cannot tell you how awesome the opportunity was!

For a little background, each year ten NYWOD are chosen from all over the country for their outstanding Gold Award work. The Gold Award, the highest achievement a Girl Scout can earn, is a voluntary service project that she takes upon herself to give back to her community, local or global, to make the world a better place. My Gold Award, completed in 2010, was a documentary about Holocaust survivors in the Philadelphia region. Of the nine other girls ranked with me in 2011, there was one that taught federal prisoners in Washington State how to knit blankets for the homeless, while another, at only 15 years old, started working with human trafficking survivors to raise awareness.

The panel that gathered this past week consisted of close to 20 members, including myself. We stayed in cabins tucked into the hillside and each of us read through about 10 projects in one night. The 33 gold awards that were competing to be honored in 2013 were amazing. One girl, from New York, raised almost $30,000 to invest in athletics in her town and a young women from New Jersey successfully lobbied for a law to be passed in her state’s legislature for teen dating abuse education be taught in schools from 7th-12th grade. The choice who to vote for was tough, but worth it. The tally will be officially in a few months, but I am just so excited that I was on the final board for selection.

Thank you GSUSA!

2 thoughts on “Hiding in the woods…

  1. Hi Darragh –

    I was excited to find your blog. I earned my Gold Award in April, and I attended the GSHPA Council Gold Award ceremony that you spoke at in June. Until I heard your wonderful speech at the event, I had never heard of the NYWOD program, and the GSHPA council had never before chosen any representatives for the competition. Shortly after the ceremony, I contacted the council, and they decided to participate for the first time. I applied for the 2013 NYWOD and was selected by my council to be one of the representatives whose projects were sent to GSUSA for the final judging! I have no idea if I ended up being in the top 33 that you judged, but no matter what, I am still honored. It has been wonderful to have had the opportunity not only to improve my community and earn my Gold Award, but also to represent my council at the national level. I am eagerly awaiting the final results.

    • Dear Anonymous,

      Congratulations on receiving your Gold Award! It is just an honor and privilege! And GSHPA is a great council! So lovely and devoted!

      It was so exciting to be on the judging panel. I can assure you that it was a stressful process that each of my panel members and I struggled with.

      Thank you for reading and commenting on Fatal Femmes! I hope that one day you might find a partner as wonderful as Nicole to work with.


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