Local Girl Scout earns Gold Award
Story by Chris Graham
Girl Scout Marissa Harris of Bridgewater wanted children in the community around North River Elementary School to have a safer choice at Halloween, so she orchestrated a hugely successful Boo Bash at the Sangersville Ruritan Club.
In doing so, Marissa has earned the Gold Award, the highest achievement given by Girl Scouts of the USA. A member of Girl Scout Troop 289 of North Augusta service unit, Marissa received her award from Girl Scouts of Virginia Skyline Council.
Achieving the Gold Award takes true commitment and dedication. The Girl Scout Gold Award is earned by fulfilling requirements that recognize a Senior Girl Scout’s commitment to excellence as she develops leadership skills and personal values to meet present and future challenges in her life. To earn the Gold Award, Marissa, 17, had to prove her leadership abilities by designing and carrying out a plan of activities that included community service, career exploration, and specialized interest projects. She had to meet the requirements for 65 hours of volunteer community service.
Marissa supervised more than 35 volunteers to stage a Halloween carnival with games, prizes and food. She drew up floor plans for the activity booths, decided who would work where, ordered prizes, baked goodies for the cake/cookie walk, rented the Ruritan hall (the Ruritans later refunded the money), shopped for supplies and solicited donations. On October 24, 2009, she and her helpers set up the game booths, prizes and haunted house; then ran the Boo Bash for three hours. The Bash included a cake/cookie/brownie wheel, dime pitch, photo corner, pumpkin bean bag game, toilet paper toss, corn hole, lollipop pull, fortune teller, eyeball soup, pumpkin-carving contest and more.
Ticket sales were so good that Marissa was able to donate $1,000 to the North River Elementary playground fund. She is already planning the 2010 Boo Bash.
A student at Fort Defiance High School, Marissa is the daughter of Mark and Teresa Craig, and Larry and Barbara Harris. Her project consultant and troop leader was her mother, Teresa.