A Girl Scout Gold Award Alumna Spotlight
Once a Girl Scout, Always a Girl Scout. Just ask Elizabeth Gilson.
Elizabeth is a Girl Scouts Alumna, a Gold Award Recipient as well as a lifetime member. Oh and she is a service unit volunteer. And no, she doesn’t have any children.
She just loves Girl Scouts THAT much.
Elizabeth’s Girl Scout resume is quite impressive. She has made memories and gained skills that will last her a lifetime and she’ll be the first person to tell you that. Her mother, Susie, was her troop leader and still is for her younger sister Laurie who earned her Gold Award last year. You might say that Girl Scouts is a family affair for the Gilson’s.
“I owe a lot to my mom, especially as my Girl Scout leader,” Elizabeth said.
The Gilson family and Susie’s troops have been on all sorts of Girl Scout adventures together. Elizabeth recalls visiting Savannah, Georgia where Girl Scouts first began. Sitting in the room where the first Girl Scout meeting was ever held was a huge moment in her life. She explained it as “surreal and emotional.”
“If I’m this emotional now, I have to keep doing this,” she remembered thinking while sitting in that little room.
All through school, Elizabeth held onto Girl Scouts – it’s what she always had to look forward to. Every Oct. 31 and Mar. 12 she proudly wore her vest to school. She vividly remembers her peer’s perceptions of her Girl Scout involvement.
“In elementary school it was cool, in middle school it was nerdy and in high school it was the coolest thing. Girls would tell me they wished they had stayed involved.”
In high school, Elizabeth earned the highest award in Girl Scouts – her Gold Award. For her Take Action project she developed an applied geometry curriculum around kite flying for math classes at her high school, Olathe South. (Elizabeth loves kites almost as much as Girl Scouts.)
It was through earning her Gold Award that Elizabeth found her calling as a teacher.
After high school, Elizabeth attended Kansas State University where she started out studying civil engineering. While she likes math and science, she felt like something was missing. Then she remembered how much she loved teaching.
“Without Girl Scouts, I wouldn’t be where I am today,” Elizabeth explained. “I’m sure I would have figured it out eventually, but my Gold Award project certainly helped.”
While at K-State, Elizabeth was a troop leader for two troops and assisted in the recruiting efforts for service unit 704 in Manhattan, KS!
“Girl Scouts has been huge part of my life since Kindergarten. I couldn’t imagine not doing it.”
Elizabeth graduated from K-State in December, is currently a substitute teacher in several school districts in the Kansas City area and she is hoping to land a full time teaching job for this fall. She serves at the product sales manager for service unit 679 and she appreciates having a little extra time right now to focus on cookies!
As a teacher, Elizabeth sees herself incorporating all the things that Girl Scouts taught her into her classroom to ensure that girls and boys alike gain the soft skills that she knows are so important. And for those girls who are in Girl Scouts, she will do everything she can to encourage them to earn their highest award.
“Earning your Gold Award is worth what you put in. It shows that you’re willing to put time and effort into something and you come out such a better person because of that!”
Are you a Gold Award recipient?! We want to hear from you – leave us a message in the comments telling us what earning your Gold Award has meant to you!