Ciara Beckemeier has been involved with Girl Scouts since kindergarten, and after nearly 12 years, the Winfield High School junior has worked her way up to earning the program’s top honor – the Gold Award. While Beckemeier actually completed the requirements for the award last year in July, the official recognition of her hard work has finally come down the pipe, and she’ll be recognized for her accomplishment at the annual Girl Scouts Reflections Ceremony in June 2020.
Since she started Girl Scouts, Beckemeier said she knew she’d want to stick it out till the end, and after scouting for more than a decade and changing troops, she said it’s a big accomplishment for her to be one of the senior members of her troop, and taking on a mentorship role for her fellow scouts.
“After I earned my Gold Award, earned it last year, I knew I had taken on a mentorship role because I eventually learned that I could be a leader to the younger scouts that are in my area and around the St. Louis area,” Beckemeier said. “It has changed me a little bit, I feel like I’ve grown in confidence, mostly in myself. I feel like it’s been a good experience being a part of Girl Scouts, and now once I graduate I know I can keep on going with my leadership and mentorship roles.”
The Gold Award is the highest honor a Girl Scout can win, and the requirements to achieve it are stringent. The aspiring Girl Scout has to put 80 hours of work into a measurable and sustainable community-service project, and then present that final project to a committee.
“It looks good on your college applications and your job applications or resumes,” Beckemeier said.
Beckemeier said she’s very involved in the First Baptist Church of Winfield, and thought it would be an interesting project to work with elementary-age kids.
She created three Gospel presentations and accompanying hand-out materials for the kids, and held a trio of bible studies.
“It was scary at first, because I didn’t know how many kids were going to be there,” Beckemeier said. “We ended up having like three or four.” After the first two presentations, she felt much more comfortable, and the last class was easy to teach.
“By the third night, I felt very confident in what I was doing,” Beckemeier said.
After she graduates from Winfield, Beckemeier is planning to take two years of school at St. Charles Community College, and then hopes to attend Missouri Baptist University. She wants to become a teacher, and said she hopes to be able to return to teach math at Winfield High School.
Winning the Gold Award was a challenge, she said, but once a person puts their mind to it and gets to work, it eventually starts to come together.
“It’s a great result at the end, and I hope that future Girl Scouts will be inspired by my project or what I have done to earn their Gold Award,” Beckemeier said.