Wylie senior Kristen Kilpatrick topped off 13 years in Girl Scouts by earning the organization’s highest achievement – the Girl Scout Gold Award.
Kristen was presented the honor at a ceremony in Fort Worth in May.
“It’s kind of like the final chapter of my 13 years in Girl Scouts,” Kristen said. “It’s the completion of what I’ve been working for. It’s a big accomplishment.”
Kristen started in Girl Scouts as a Daisy 13 years ago. She continued in the program earning the bronze and silver awards along the way.
“I was determined to get my Gold Award as soon as I hit Junior High,” she said. “I thought if I’m going to go all the way, then I might as well.”
Less than 6 percent of Girl Scouts receive the Gold Award, as it requires students to first earn the bronze and silver awards and then do a Gold Award Service Project in High School. Kristen did her project on saving the bees.
“I knew that bees were disappearing,” she said. “I figured I could make a project out of it. Everyone could use a little educating. I had booths at several different Artwalks where I handed out pamphlets that I made.”
In addition, Kristen made seed balls using topsoil and bee-friendly seeds wrapped in wax packages. She gave them to students to encourage the growth of plants that serve as pollinators for bees.
She was required to spend at least 80 hours of community service to obtain her Gold Award.
“It sounds like a lot, but it’s really easy to go past that,” she said. “I had over 150 hours. I gave all my educational materials to the Abilene Zoo, so they can continue to have workshops about pollinators.”
Kristen said that juggling the project with school and other activities proved challenging. Kristen is Spike, Wylie High School’s mascot, and she also reached state in debate and extraneous speaking.
She said she understands why so few Girl Scouts reach the top award.
“A lot of girls drop out because so many people find other interests,” she said. “It was really hard to focus on the project, because you are so distracted with academics. It was hard.”
But she said earning the honor is the highlight of her years in Girl Scouts.
“I really enjoy all of it,” she said. “But this is the most rewarding part – to put all your efforts into a project and then get rewarded.”
She said Girl Scouts is a great program that has made her a better person.
“We are constantly doing things in the community that are giving back to someone,” she said. “I would not be as great a debater or speaker if it weren’t for Girl Scouts.”
Kristen is the daughter of Terry and Lori Kilpatrick, and she has an older brother, Shaun. She plans to attend Angelo State University next year and major in political science.