Girl Scout Gold Award Centennial Feature
Angie Zahn: Dedicated Girl Scout Volunteer and Gold Award Advisor – 29 Years and Counting!
Glen Carbon, Illinois – Since 1916, Girl Scouts have been making meaningful, sustainable change in their communities and around the world through their Girl Scout Gold Award projects. The Girl Scout Gold Award, the highest honor a Girl Scout can earn, acknowledges the power behind each recipient’s dedication to not only empowering herself, but also to making the world a better place for others. As the Girl Scout Gold Award celebrates 100 years of girls changing the world, Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois (GSSI) is highlighting some of our shining stars who exemplify the greatness of this award.
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A great part of the success of many organizations relies heavily on the quality and dedication of volunteers who are passionate about the organization they are serving. This is true about Girl Scouts as an organization, and this is true about Angie Zahn as a long-time Girl Scout volunteer.
Angie Zahn from Trenton, IL is a Managing Broker with Strano & Associates Real Estate. Even with her busy career, Angie has found time to pour her heart and soul into Girl Scouting. Being a Girl Scout Troop Leader for 29 years is quite an accomplishment in itself, but it doesn’t stop there for this volunteer. Angie has worn (and still wears) many hats with Girl Scouts, ranging from Day Camp staff to Board of Directors Chair. One of the roles that Angie has held for several years, and still holds today, is that of Girl Scout Gold Award advisor and mentor.
The Girl Scout Gold Award is the highest award a girl can earn in Girl Scouting. To earn this award, a Girl Scout Senior or Girl Scout Ambassador must design and carry out a project that fulfills a need within her community, creates change and is sustainable. The project must be completed with a suggested minimum of 80 hours of work, and only about 5 percent of eligible girls earn the prestigious Gold Award. To say that a girl’s Gold Award Advisor is instrumental in her journey would be an understatement.
Angie began her adventure as a Girl Scout Gold Award Advisor by first mentoring her daughter through her Gold Award project. Angie’s daughter, Jennifer, developed a summer reading program for kids in their hometown of Trenton. Jennifer arranged for speakers, door prizes and activities for the kids at the library all summer. Angie went on to mentor another 6 girls through their Gold Award projects, including Sarah Monical who is now Angie’s Troop Co-Leader. She hasn’t stopped there; Angie is currently working with her eighth Girl Scout who is going for Gold.
“At the end of the day, we talk a great deal about how the Girl Scout Gold Award project was designed to benefit others. What I have seen time after time is truly the benefit to the girls. The payback for our girls comes from finding out they are capable of making a difference, that they are capable of making decisions that affect themselves and others, and that they have it within themselves to succeed,” said Angie of the Girl Scouts she has mentored.
As we celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Girl Scout Gold Award, Angie encourages other adults to consider becoming a Girl Scout volunteer and Gold Award advisor. She states, “There is nothing more satisfying than watching a young woman recognize her own power and realize her dreams.”
Today, Girl Scouts of the U.S.A. is the largest voluntary organization for girls in the world. Its sole focus is to meet the needs of all girls (ages 5-17) from diverse racial, ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds. Today’s Girl Scouts not only enjoy camping and crafts, but they also explore math and science and learn about diversity, good citizenship, leadership and teamwork. Girl Scouting is the place where girls experience the fun, friendship and power of girls together. Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois is a not-for-profit organization supported by various United Ways throughout the region. Girl Scouts is a Proud Partner of United Way. For more information, please call Tricia Higgins at 618.242.5079.
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