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Del Mar Girl Scouts earn prestigious Gold Award

Del Mar residents Claire Bickett, Laine Michaels, Kaya Patidar, and Belle Sach have reached the pinnacle of the Girl Scout leadership experience by earning the Girl Scout Gold Award.

Claire and Laine are Torrey Pines High School seniors and members of Troop 1740, led by Mara Bickett. Belle and Kaya are new graduates of Canyon Crest Academy who both plan to study economics. Belle, a former member of Troop 1674, led by her mother Tina, will enter the University of Denver in September. Kaya will attend the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business. She participated in Troop 1831, led by Holly McCloskey.

The four young women were among a record 87 local Girl Scouts who were honored during a socially-distanced Gold Award ceremony on the promenade at Liberty Station. San Diego County District Attorney Summer Stephan was the keynote speaker. Last April, Stephan was honored as one of Girl Scouts San Diego’s “Cool Women of 2021.”

Just five percent of eligible Girl Scouts nationwide earn Gold Awards. The designation helps them distinguish themselves in the college admissions process, establish eligibility for college scholarships, and enlist in the military at a higher pay grade.

Girl Scouts earn the Gold Award by demonstrating accomplishments in leadership, community service, career planning, and personal development. Each girl chooses a local or global issue she cared deeply about, thoroughly investigates the issue, creates a detailed plan to address it, recruits others to help her execute it, and take steps to ensure its sustainability. To overcome the challenges of pandemic restrictions, the 2021 Gold Award Girl Scouts had to significantly revise their approaches to executing their projects.

Claire Bickett
Claire Bickett
(Courtesy)

Claire wanted to teach children to have a more environmentally conscious world view. She made a series of community presentations to children in grades 1-5 at Del Mar Hills Academy and in Girl Scout troops. She also addressed several groups of adults. In addition, Claire created a children’s book that is available worldwide online.

Laine Michaels
Laine Michaels
(Courtesy)

Laine wanted to address how lonely quarantine could be for seniors and to push Del Mar teens out of their comfort zones to meet new people. Working with Del Mar Community Connections, she identified local seniors who were interested in forming such connections. Through Generations Connect, the organization she created, seniors and teen conversed by phone and at safe distances in person. She also took steps to inspire others to do something similar.

Kaya Patidar
Kaya Patidar

(Courtesy)

Kaya created Sports for All, a program for five- to 17-year-olds at the Rayito de Luz Orphanage in Tijuana. In addition to teaching the children types of sports and games that release energy, Kaya provided sports equipment to the orphanage. She also assembled a binder of information so that future English- and Spanish-speaking volunteers can continue Sports for All.

Belle Sach
Belle Sach
(Courtesy)

Belle found that few pre-teens and teenagers were being trained in water safety, because classes were expensive and in short supply. She held three free CPR and first aid training courses with the American Heart Association and two no-cost beach and water safety workshops with the Torrey Pines Lifeguards. The PowerPoint she created to education about CPR, first aid, and lifeguard training was shared statewide through the Junior Lifeguards program and is available online.

Through programs focused on the outdoors, STEM, life skills, outdoor adventure, and entrepreneurship, Girl Scouts prepares girls for a lifetime of leadership. All girls in grades K-12 and adult volunteers are welcome to join.

For information about Girl Scouting opportunities in Del Mar, contact Regional Recruitment Specialist Tracy Browns at 619-610-0757 or tbrowns@sdgirlscouts.org, or visit sdgirlscouts.org.


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