This piece is brought to you by Hoof Prints, a partnership between The Gazette and The Pony Express, Stillwater Area High School’s student newspaper.
By Hannah Drake
Whether it be organizing a band camp from scratch or creating a garden from the ground up, seniors Lily Marchan and Natalie Zinn were able to do it. They put endless hours and hard work into their achieving their Gold Award for Girl Scouts. On Apr. 30 they officially received their award for all their efforts.
Zinn and Marchan have both been apart of Troop 51037 since they were in kindergarten. During these 13 years, they have visited Camp Lakamaga countless times and have been in charge of groups filled younger Girl Scouts, teaching them how to be become respectable female leaders.
“To obtain a Gold Award one must have to have previously completed their Bronze and Silver Awards, propose a sustainable community service project and get it approved by the Girl Scout board, complete at least 80 hours for the project, and then get your completion confirmed by the board,” Natalie Zinn said.
Zinn’s Gold Award
It took Zinn around 150 hours to create a vegetable garden across from SJHS. She coordinated with Valley Outreach and the Early Childhood Family Center (ECFC) to get in contact with kids interested in the garden. She began planning her project last year in April and started the garden in June. Together they planted and harvested vegetables all throughout August. She was able to help younger kids learn how to grow their own food and the importance of healthy eating.
“I’ve felt like kids our age and younger haven’t had a readily opportunity to learn how to grow their own food since district cut out Home Ec and Consumer Science classes. I thought incorporating a garden into outdoor activities for young kids in the summer would be a fun way for them to get outside while also introducing them to healthy foods and habits,” Zinn said.
The idea came from earlier on when Zinn did some volunteering with Valley Outreach’s Giving Garden in Lake Elmo. This connection helped motivate her to create a brand new garden and learning program for the Adventure Club kids at the ECFC.
“I have gained leadership experience and skills regarding teamwork, specifically with people who are older and younger than me. I feel like I am able to better coordinate with people who are my superiors as well as understand and work will smaller kids,” Zinn said.
Marchan has had a passion about music every since she was a little girl. Twelve years ago at the age of eight she began to learn how to play the piano. Through Lake Elmo Elementary school, she was taught how to play the flute and continued with it for five years. When she started high school she decided to switch to the bassoon.
“I love music and I wanted to share my passion and knowledge with younger students who really look up to the older band students. I believe encouraging younger students really makes an impact on them and drives them to be the best musicians they can,” Lily Marchan said
Marchan spent her last high school summer devoting herself to 6-9th grade students who enjoy music as much as she does. She spent a couple months prior advertising her camp, ‘Stillwater Summer Band Camp’, by distributing flyers to schools throughout District 834. From June to August the camp met once a week and played their hearts out together.
“We really didn’t have a program like this before. There are summer band camps in the area but they typically meet every day for the course of a week. I felt like being able to go once a week was less of a commitment for families and it was more helpful for student growth,” Marchan said.
It was a pretty natural step for the both of them to complete their Gold Award. They both had completed their Bronze and Silver Awards prior to receiving their Gold Award. Together as a troop they made bird houses for the Carpenter Nature Center for the Bronze Award, but for their Silver they decided to do things separate.
“I could not have done this without the support from my family, friends and troop. Especially our troop leader Carrie Marchan, for helping motivate me and Lily the whole way through,” Zinn said.