This Girl Scout’s Gold Award Project May Help Save Lives

By: Natalie Shoemaker, Advancement Coordinator

gold award-project

It takes someone who has really lived in a community to understand how to make it better. That’s what I learned when I met Emily Pattinson while she was working on her Gold Award project.

When selecting a Gold Award project, Girl Scouts are asked to meditate on how they could leave their community better than they found it. Emily’s project does just that (and it may even help save some lives in the process.)

She had setup a booth at the Downsville Fire Department Anniversary Celebration, making reflective address markers. The idea sounds simple, but it’s really an elegant solution to a big issue emergency responders face in rural neighborhoods. A reflective address marker is something most people don’t consider, but in the dead of night, on a rural stretch of road, a visible address makes a huge difference when there’s an emergency.

An officer at the event saw Emily’s booth and applauded her idea. He told us about a time when he was responding to a call and wound up driving right past the house; in the dead of night, he couldn’t make out the address.  He believed, had the homeowners had a reflective sign, he probably wouldn’t have missed the house the first time.

Emily was selling the signs for $10 a piece—enough to cover the costs of buying the materials—making them on-site for anyone at the event who wanted to purchase one.

What a thoughtful project!

We’re always looking to share stories about our girls and what they’re doing in and for their community. Send photos and info to

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