Local Teens Earn Gold Awards
Megan Alam and Caroline Dimpel accomplish Girl Scouts’ highest honor
Two local teens recently earned the Girl Scout Gold Award. The award recognizes girls in grades 9 through 12 who demonstrate extraordinary leadership through sustainable and measurable community service projects that require a minimum of 80 hours to complete. Less than 5 percent of Girl Scouts earn the award.
Caroline Dimpel, a senior at The Woodlands College Park High School, led her church community to donate books, including classics, encyclopedias and other educational materials to Our Lady of Holy Cross School, a school in Accra, Ghana, established in 2006 by the Sisters of the Holy Cross Order. The school’s mission is to provide quality education to families that otherwise could not afford it in an effort to break the poverty cycle in those communities. Dimpel and her volunteers also created personalized bookmarks for the children to use during vacation bible school. She also obtained sponsorships to purchase new library furniture for the school.
“I traveled to Ghana with my father and my pastor, Father Pat Garrett from Sts. Simon and Jude Catholic Church in the Woodlands,” said Dimpel. “While there, I worked with and led 10 teachers on setting up the library by organizing all the books, building bookshelves and other furniture and any other needs the school had. I was also able to interact with the children and see the joy my work brought to them.”
More than 20 volunteers assisted Dimpel in completing her project that impacted more than 600 lives. Through earning the Gold Award, Dimpel was able to solve the problem of the school not having enough resources to provide students with books and educational materials.
“I am very passionate about helping children, education, and my faith,” said Dimpel. “This project allowed me to touch those values that are core to me.”
Megan Alam, a senior at Academy of Science and Technology at The Woodlands College Park High School, built a large, stand-alone prep table, complete with storage and sink for Interfaith of The Woodlands’ Veggie Village. The prep table provides a convenient and central location for volunteers to wash and package the more than 4,000 pounds of produce annually. The table is constructed of durable materials to withstand heavy use and the elements, and its design is aesthetically pleasing and matches the other structures located on the property.
Alam started volunteering with Veggie Village when she was in middle school and earned her Girl Scout Silver Award for developing an education nutrition kit for kindergartners, and designing and building a portable garden that could be used in conjunction with the kit to bring gardening to elementary school-aged children.
“It wasn’t until I began working on another Girl Scout project, building global buckets to help sustain the crops while the Veggie Village beds underwent solarization, that I realized the garden lacked a vital component – a central place to wash and package the produce for distribution to the pantry,” said Alam.
Alam started her Gold Award project during her 9th grade year, talking with Veggie Village volunteers to determine their needs. During her 10th grade year, she received approval to start her project, and she began working on the plans for the station and obtaining materials.
“Due to the size of my project, construction with help from my volunteers took many session and ultimately culminated in the installation workday this past spring,”” said Alam. “I passed along my experience locally by speaking to other Girl Scouts and more widely, by creating a website. I am happy that I was able to play a part in helping provide nutrient-rich, unprocessed, organize produce to families, children and elderly in my community.”
Alam’s project impacted more than 7,000 families, the number served by Interfaith of the Woodlands in 2015.
To learn more about the Girl Scout Gold Award, which turns 100 this year, visit girlscouts.org.