Local Girl Scout Troop 30287 is working to earn the highest Cadette honor, the Girl Scout Silver Award.
The Silver Award gives Girl Scouts the chance to show that they are leaders who are organized, determined and dedicated to improving their community, according to Girl Scouts USA. Not every Girl Scout completes the Silver Award.
Lori Enyart, public relations and digital media manager for Girl Scouts of the Missouri Heartland, said of the 17,000 active Girl Scouts in the council this year, 39 girls have earned the Silver Award since Oct. 1, 2012. The council covers 68 counties in central and southern Missouri, southeast Kansas and northeast Oklahoma.
As part of their Silver Award project, girls in Troop 30287 held a schoolwide Book War at St. Peter Interparish School to collect book donations for the Special Learning Center (SLC), the Boys and Girls Club of the Capital City and St. Mary's Health Center. They also put a note asking for book donations in the St. Peter Catholic Church bulletin, as well as the St. Andrew Catholic Church bulletin. The troop of eight girls is also building four solid oak bookshelves - two for the SLC and two for the Boys and Girls Club.
"Last year, they earned the bronze award, which required less time and commitment to the community," said Maria Micke, Troop 30287 leader. "We knew this project needed to be an ongoing project, and the girls wanted to provide books to children."
The girls, seventh-graders at St. Peter, are in the process of building the bookshelves, and troop member Lauren Micke said she's excited that she and fellow troop members will get to read to the children when they deliver the shelves and books to the SLC and Boys and Girls Club sometime in May.
"It will be fun because we've spent a lot of time on this," she said.
The Silver Award requires 50 hours of service from each Girl Scout and can only be completed once a Girl Scout has earned the Bronze Award, the highest honor for a Girl Scout Junior.
Troop 30287 earned the Bronze Award last year by making cat beds for the Jefferson City Animal Shelter and collecting food and other donations for the felines.
Once the girls reach high school, they may earn the Gold Award, the highest achievement in Girl Scouting.
"It's important to highlight the fact that these are the highest awards as Girl Scouts," Enyart said. "They (Girl Scouts) are looking at the community and completing projects that will benefit the community and have lasting impact."