Girl Scouts Go for Gold: Juniors pursue service awards


Julia Peiris

Blisko ‘22 (left) and Peiris ‘22 (right) have both been Girl Scouts since elementary school. They are seen here selling cookies.

For Lindsey Blisko (‘22), the Gold Award means inspiring women and girls to succeed in the world. Recognizing Girl Scouts who organize and lead projects to benefit their communities in a sustainable way, the Gold Award is the highest award in the Girl Scouts program.

Blisko hopes that through her project, she can help economically struggling women. She described her project, saying, “It’s going to be kind of a seminar-type deal with multiple different speakers and then maybe a panel talking about various topics. So I’ll have like women that started their own businesses, a girl that started her own club at a school, things along those lines.” Her hope is that by providing positive role models, she can encourage generations of women to fulfill their goals.

Blisko reflected on her experience leading the GenWOW Club at Bolles and how it inspired her current project. “I went to one of their major events, which at the time was in-person but they had a panel and speakers and things along those lines. And so what I figured is we have to have it built in a way that it’s sustainable, and so I am allowing the GenWOW Club to continue the event after I leave, and so I figured it should be something that deals with the club.”

Julia Peiris (‘22) has had to make adaptations to her project due to the COVID-19 pandemic, saying, “Originally I wanted to do family portraits for veterans because I know a lot of people can’t afford them because they’re pretty pricey. And so I think they’re something everybody cherishes. Photos last forever and they’re really good for record keeping, and so I feel like it would be a good memory.”

However, with the pandemic limiting her ability to do a project in-person, Peiris has developed a new project.

Her new plan is to host Zoom meetings so she can hear elderly people, especially veterans, tell their stories. She said of her idea, “I know a lot of people like to talk about their stories, and a lot of the time, we neglect listening to them. And so I feel like this is a good way to capture their stories, because I know they have a lot of interesting stories. And I’m a person who really loves to listen to other people’s stories. Everything about people, I just love listening to it.”

Peiris described her inspiration for the project, saying, “We were brainstorming and one of my troop members’ mom was like ‘Oh yeah, my grandfather, he tells a lot of stories and we always love listening to them, so you could do something with that.’ And I was like, ‘Oh wow, I never thought about that. That’s actually something really interesting.’”

Emily Rohan (‘22), meanwhile, is working on an environmentally conscious effort to reuse flowers from special events. She described her project: “I’ve noticed that when there’s big events, big weddings and stuff, there’s a lot of leftover floral arrangements. And I think especially during times like this with COVID, it would be really nice to gather all the extra floral things that aren’t being used and bring them to hospitals and bring them to kids and sick adults and people like that who don’t get to have a lot of visitors often.”

The Girl Scouts Gold Award recognizes leadership and community service. A time commitment of roughly 80 hours total is required. (

Her idea was inspired by personal experience, as she said, “I know when I had surgery on my appendix over summer my parents weren’t allowed to visit me and stuff, but it was just nice to have flowers so I’d at least know someone was thinking of me.”

In addition, she hopes her project will help eliminate waste, saying, “Another big planning thing for me was just I really hate wasting things. I hate wasting things so I think this was just a really good way to not waste such a beautiful aspect or floral arrangement.”

She hopes to begin her project over the summer, since she is currently helping with fundraising for the Lymphoma and Leukemia Society. Also, Rohan plans to work with hospitals, caterers, and event planners to complete her project.

In addition, she plans to ensure the sustainability of her mission by starting a club or student group to oversee it after her graduation. She discussed her vision for the plan’s future, “And then with the help of the group… that way I would have people there all the time. So that way, the club, I’m able to keep it going. I’m able to pass it down to other people who are able to keep it going.”

Each of the Girl Scouts plans to complete their project before senior year, since, as Julia Peiris said, “Most Ambassadors want to get it done before senior year so they can put it on their college resume.”