Widgets Magazine

Jul 3, 2012

Teach's Gold Award

I told you yesterday about Princess's Gold Award project. She was awesome! She is so good with the little kids especially...

Since we are on this subject, I thought it might be fun to tell you about Teach's Gold Award project. Like Princess, Teach went through a period when she didn't really like scouts. She would rather hang with her "real" friends than her "scout" friends. But I refused to let her abandon ship, and by the time she was 16 or 17, she began to see the beauty of having even more friends. That's when scouts became at least a little fun (and she wanted the Gold Award on her scholarship applications).

 She was totally entrenched in the Family and Consumer Sciences department at her high school. She was an officer in FCCLA and she also she took child development and design classes, but her favorite by far was working with the preschool. She taught there for two years and eventually became the FACS Sterling Scholar for her school. That is where she really began her teaching career. It is also when she decided that her life dream was to run her own preschool. That is why she got her degree in Elementary Education.

The scouting program top awards (like the Gold Award) have to be developed and planned by the scout. I always encourage my kids to choose projects they really care about because that makes the work so much easier. For Teach it was a natural to start looking for something to do with the preschool.

After a couple of months of searching for just the right project, she taught a lesson on community helpers. She realized that the kids could understand these jobs so much better if they had real costumes and props so they would feel like they really worked that job. And suddenly, she had her project.

After getting approval, she sent out about 50 letters to local businesses and city hall, requesting donations of old uniforms and props. After a couple of weeks she hit the streets to follow up on her letters. She was surprised and pleased with the response. She got firefighter shirts and plastic hats, a chef's costume, scrubs, a Supercuts apron, and various others costume pieces. But the most exciting one was an honest-to-goodness police officer's uniform!

Scout and Sport did a great job showing off all the costumes!
Now she had to fill in the holes to make sure she had what she needed to teach the lesson, but worst of all, someone had to modify adult uniforms to make them fit 3- and 4-year-olds. She tasked me with that job. And I was kind of glad, because if we messed this up, it would be difficult to get replacements. While I was sewing, I donated a few extra hours making little drawstring bags for each individual costume. Then my awesome friend with the vinyl business made labels for each bag.

The preschool kids in the various costumes.
When Teach was finished, she had 15 costumes that included props. She approached my awesome friend and asked her to help make a permanent container for the costumes. That required a trip to the store to find just the right box.

By the time she was finished Teach had invested well over a hundred hours in this project and that didn't include the required badge work. But the day she took in the costumes, the kids were SOOO excited! Her teacher was very pleased and Teach was just totally relieved to finally be done.

I think the best thing Scouting teaches kids is that they CAN set a big goal and make it happen! I just keep telling myself that... and when Princess finishes her project next week, I'll be halfway there.
Us at the Gold Award ceremony

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