In a rare accomplishment the members of Girl Scout Troop 33 have each earned the Gold Award, the highest achievement given by the Girl Scouts of USA. Elizabeth Higgs, Kate Robertson, Amelia Poore, Tessa Swanson, Emma Lustig, Caroline Perkins, and Sarah Merten received their awards through Girl Scouts of Virginia Skyline Council. Achieving the Gold Award takes true commitment and dedication. After completing a series of required awards, a scout must spend a minimum of 65 hours on a service project that benefits her community.
After much research, the scouts chose the Veterans Administration Hospital for their project. The VA Hospital wanted a Family Garden space. A restful area where the families of patients could sit and relax while their veteran was being treated. The space needed to have plenty of seating arranged in small groups for privacy. With the increasing number of younger veterans returning, the area also needed fun activities for the children who might also be waiting for their parent to complete treatment. But the area was too big for one girl and one project. The girls divided the space into smaller areas, and each girl developed a garden feature within her own space. The girls and their 35 volunteers donated $3500 and over 1270 hours to complete the projects.