Local girls earn top Girl Scouting honor: the Silver Award

Silver Award Team pictured left to right: Rachel Clifton, Dee Dee Anderson, Destiny Washington, Jasmine Bussie

On June 1, 2014, four Cadette Scouts from Troop 13779 of Sanctuary Covenant Church will be recognized for earning the second highest honor available to a young woman in Girl Scouting – the Girl Scout Silver Award.  Dee Dee Anderson, an 8th grader at Minnehaha Academy, Destiny Washington, a 7th grader at North View Junior High School, Jasmine Bussie, a 7th grader at Brooklyn Center Junior/Senior High School and Rachel Clifton, a 7th grader at Beacon Academy will celebrate this prestigious achievement for their 2-year service project known as Project 5000 at the Ted Mann Concert Hall (University of Minnesota) amongst their peers, family, friends and Girl Scouting community.

The highest and most prestigious awards that Girl Scouts can earn are the Bronze, Silver and Gold Awards. These awards, commonly referred to as the High Awards, showcase what being a Girl Scout is all about.

The Silver Award is the highest award earned by Cadette Girl Scouts. It is a national award with national standards, awarded by Girl Scouts of Minnesota and Wisconsin River Valleys on behalf of Girl Scouts of the USA. This award acknowledges achievements in leadership development, with community-based actions (outside of Girl Scouts) having a sustainable element and incorporating personal growth. This project involves girl led, ou
tcome based, sustainable leadership projects based in the girls’ community. A project is considered leadership when the girls address the “Root Cause” of an issue they are passionate about and which incorporates “with” the community (not service based) “for” the community.

Project 5000 was born from a desire to address the growing issue of hunger in the state of Minnesota. According to a study released by the Hunger in America/Minnesota Study, hunger has doubled in Minnesota over the past five years and 40 percent of those seeking hunger relief in Minnesota are now children under the age of 18.  Further research conducted by Feeding America revealed that 1 in 10 Minnesotans does not always know where he or she will find his or her next meal.

Project 5000 is a take action project inspired by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ found in a parable told in the book of Mark 6:30-44 in which Jesus feeds a crowd of 5000.  The goal of the project is to help end huger in our community by teaching people how to grow food themselves. And also to educate adults and children on the importance of eating healthy food and what qualifies as eating health food.

Over the span of two years, the Project 5000 Team (Dee Dee, Destiny, Jasmine and Rachel) spent their Saturdays learning about permaculture and working along side urban farmers affiliated with PRI Cold Climate and the University of Minnesota’s Master Gardners’ programs.  They also partnered with Gardening Matters to deliver harvest to a local food shelf in north Minneapolis.  To address the sustainable component of their project, the team partnered with third and fourth grade students from Lucy Craft Laney School to grow seedlings over the winter months which eventually the students transferred into large containers to be housed in their back yards for the purpose of providing healthy food to their families and others in their communities.

By Lisa Chatman, Cleveland Neighborhood Resident and Girl Scout Troop Leader