2013 – 2014 GSNI Gold Award Recipients


We would like to take a moment to recognize those who will be receiving the highest award in Girl Scouting, the Girl Scout Gold Award. Congratulations to the Girl Scouts listed below! For more information about the Girl Scout Gold Award, click here.

MaKena Casey, Fulton – Painting With Spirit
MaKena painted murals on the walls of Fulton High School. This project was completed in April 2012, but the final report was not submitted until May 17, 2013. Since MaKena started her project in 2010, she followed the Studio 2B Guidelines.


Breann Grell, Sterling – Beautiful Remembrance
Breann’s church congregation experienced many changes in a short period of time and the congregation was growing apart. Breann’s project brought the congregation together on a project and provided an opportunity for the youth in her community to give back. She also created a flier containing various volunteer opportunities for the youth. These fliers are being distributed at her church, school and other groups in community.


Morgan Nguyen, Barrington – Brainblast! Teaching the Fun World of Science
Morgan worked with the staff and parent group at North Barrington Elementary School to develop and implement an afterschool hands-on science program for the students. She also created a workbook for the students and shared this information with Seth Paine Elementary School. The parent group at North Barrington plans to offer this program again in the future.


Kathleen O’Shea – Lake Barrington – “Building Bookworms”
Kathleen’s project addressed the issue of reading needs and mother-child bonding for children living in homeless shelters. Children living in homeless shelters have limited access to reading materials. Her project addressed this need by creating and providing approximately 100 audio recordings of children’s books, both in English and Spanish, and donating the recordings, books, and felt storyboard (for some of the books) to WINGS and Shelter, Inc. Kathleen recruited area community members such as the mayors of Hoffman Estates, Rolling Meadows and Barrington, Senator Dan Duffy’s interns (since he was not available), area business members, and teachers to read the books on “tape”. She also created a pamphlet called “Tips for Parents/Guardians on How to Read with Children” and shared her project plan outline with 15 homeless shelters in the US.


Logan Skeel – Freeport – Pearl City Welcome and Community Organization Signs
Logan worked with local community groups to refurbish the Pearl City Welcome Sign and compile a list of community organizations and contacts. This list will be placed on the Pearl City Facebook page and at the local library and other community buildings for reference.


Virginia van Vianen – Crystal Lake – Puppets for Peace
Virginia’s project addressed the issue of bullying. She created a curriculum to help educators and other adults to discuss bullying. In addition to the curriculum, she made a puppet theater and puppets to be used with the children at Turning Point.


Alexandra Fleig – Hanover Park – Beautification Through Conservation and Education
Alexandra offered a children’s workshop to raise their awareness of the importance of conserving our natural resources. She also created a PowerPoint presentation and a presentation board and shared them with various nature centers in the area.


Grace Holmes – Saint Charles – Building Literacy in K–5
Grace created a book exchange program, containing 680 books, at Allen Elementary School in Aurora. She chose to work with this school because the school did not have a lending library. The Communities in School program in Aurora will continue this program with the students at Allen.


Elizabeth Westergaard – Maple Park – College and Career Readiness: Head Start”
Elizabeth’s project addressed the minimal knowledge middle school students have regarding college. Her project consisted of creating and displaying a different bulletin board every month highlighting a particular college/university, answering questions during daily announcements, and including information in the school newsletter for parents.


Samantha Milbourn – Lake Zurich -- Displaying 90 Years at Tower Hill Camp
Samantha took her love of Tower Hill Camp and created a historical display and online scrapbook commemorating the camp’s 90-year history.


Samantha Niese – McHenry – The Unity Project
Samantha organized her youth group to refurbish the Youth House at her parish. In addition to giving the Youth House a facelift, this project brought the youth of her parish together and increased the number of youth members in the ministry.


C. Lilyann Bane – Roscoe – Wildlife Rescue
Lilyann created a presentation, focusing on the importance of protecting our natural habitats in order to help prevent wildlife displacement, to use in educating local students and visitors to Whoo Haven Wildlife Center and posted it on Prezi (an international online forum that focuses on environmental issues).


Anne Marie Elsinger – Woodstock – Sound True for Teens
Anne Marie wrote three skits, which were then performed by McHenry County students, which explored the issues of risk-taking behavior, sexual abuse, peer pressure, the consequences of substance abuse, family relations, self-identity, and negative body image. These DVDs, along with a set of discussion questions, were shared with local schools, libraries, youth ministry centers, and the Guided Choices program. The videos were also placed on YouTube, on the 105.5 radio station website, and on her Facebook page dedicated to this project.


Megan Wiesemann – McHenry – Helping Hearts in the Community
Megan’s project addressed the lack of education and resources with regards to First Aid, CPR and AED’s. She worked with local churches to offer First Aid/CPR/AED classes and, with the community‘s support, was able to provide an AED and First Aid Kit to two local churches.


Michelle Bronkema – Pearl City – Clay Cemetery Renovation
Michelle worked with the township board to install a sign identifying the Clay Cemetery. She worked with community members to clean the markers, and created a Facebook page that included photos of the restoration process as well as an updated the burial index.


Sydney Andersen – St. Charles – Art Expression
Sydney took her love of art and shared it with the children at Lazarus House. She did this by developing a program to introduce various art techniques to the children, giving them the opportunity to learn new skills and use materials that normally may not be available to them. She has connected the National Art Honor Society at St. Charles East High School with the volunteer director at the Lazarus House to continue using student volunteers to carry on her project.