Lilly Teen Earns Girl Scout Gold Award | News, Sports, Jobs
Lilly resident Savana Koval, 16, has received the Gold Award, the highest honor a Girl Scout can receive.
She was presented with her Gold Award at a ceremony on June 11 at St. Luke Lutheran Church in Lilly.
Savana, who has been a Girl Scout for 12 years, is a Girl Scout Ambassador in Troop 46508, part of the Girl Scouts Western Pennsylvania Council. She joins an exclusive group of Girl Scouts who have received the Gold Award, with less than 6% of eligible Girl Scouts receiving the award.
Before Girl Scouts begin earning a Gold Award, they must complete two Leadership Journeys or one Leadership Journey and the Silver Award.
They then identify an issue they need to address, receive approval from their Girl Scout Council for their Gold Award Take Action project, and attend a Gold Award workshop.
Scouts then work individually to design and implement a project that will have a lasting impact in the community and beyond. While earning the Gold Award, girls connect with experts, community members and other Girl Scouts to create lasting change in their communities. Gold Award recipients fulfill the Girl Scout mission to develop courage, confidence and character to make the world a better place.
The community problem chosen by Savana is tree destruction by invasive insects. A large number of trees were destroyed in Savana’s community, including 30 trees that died right in her backyard. There are currently two major invasive insects, the emerald ash borer and the spotted lanternfly, that are causing tree destruction.
Savana spent many hours with experts in the area including Michael Barton, forest consultant, Cambria County Conservation District and Canoe Creek Educational Specialist. She also attended two Washington Township Council meetings to get her permission to go ahead with her project and to keep them informed of her progress.
Savana decided to place her project on the Lilly trail, near where she set up a bat dwelling for her Silver Award. She planted four swamp oaks that could not be destroyed by these invasive insects. She also held a reconnaissance event where her Boy Scout troop and community members learned how to build a circle trap, which is a safe and effective way to catch spotted lanternflies and prevent them from doing more damage. These traps were placed on the Tree of Heaven which is the original tree of these insects before they spread to other trees. Savana also placed a 10-foot vinyl gazebo between the trees for those walking the trail to have a place to rest. It took Savana 118 hours and more than a year to complete the project.
In addition to her Gold Award, Savana has previously received her Silver Award and Bronze Award and will receive a very special and rare award earned by Boy Scouts who have all three High Awards. She has also earned every badge a Girl Scout can earn at any level except those available at her current Ambassador level.
She has received numerous other awards throughout her experience as a Girl Scout, most notably three Religious Emblem Awards: God and Me, God and Family, God and Church; Cadette and Senior Torch Awards for leadership in their community; Cadette and Senior Community Service bars; Juliette Gordon Low Birthplace Pin in Savannah GA; The National Historical Medal of Railway Heritage; and the Gettysburg Heritage Trail Award.
During her years as a Girl Scout, she has participated in many charitable projects, e.g. B. Collecting most soda cans to donate to a blind girl who needs a service dog, collecting 1,000 books with her troupe and donating to Pittsburgh Children’s Hospital, cleaning up three beaches at Prince Gallitzin, cleaning up creeks in Lilly, spreading new mulch at the Lilly War Memorial, working weekends at Camp Conshatawba, snuggling cats at the Humane Society, and helping out at numerous Young Girl Scout events.
Savana l is the daughter of Rick and Brenda Koval. She attends Penn Cambria High School in Cresson.