Natalie Poppe, of Hudson, Iowa, has achieved the Gold Award, the highest award in Girl Scouts, by building three free little libraries that create better access to reading in the community. Natalie worked with contractors, fellow Girl Scouts, and other volunteers to help build the libraries. Natalie was able to collect enough books to fill all three libraries through donations from community members, students, and local libraries. Books will continue to be donated yearly to the free little libraries by a local Hudson Girl Scout Troop and the Hudson Public Library. In completing this project, Natalie hopes that her community takes advantage of the books to do more reading. Through this experience Natalie has learned how to problem solve and become a leader in the community.
A Girl Scout Gold Award project must tackle a broad spectrum of important issues and a young woman who has earned her Gold Award has become a community leader in the truest sense.
Read what Natalie has to say about her project and the value of Girl Scouts!
How long have you been a Girl Scout?
I have been in Girl Scouts since kindergarten.
What do you love about Girl Scouting?
What I love about Girl Scouts is the trips you take to see new places and experience new things with your troop. I also like journeys you can go and accomplish and the opportunity to help people. One of my favorite things is going to camp each year and gaining new experiences and friends.
What inspired your Gold Award project?
What inspired my gold award project was me noticing that not a lot of people in my community were not reading. I built the libraries to encourage those around me to read more without the cost of buying books and the simplicity for others to understand and have full-time access to books.
What role has Girl Scouts played in your life?
Girls Scout has taught me to be a better person. It has encouraged me to go out and help my community.
What is your next step after earning your Gold Award? Are you going to college? If so, where and what will you be studying?
I will be going to college, I am undecided in my line of study.
Girl Scout Gold Award
Since 1916, Girl Scouts have been making meaningful, sustainable change in their communities and around the world. The Girl Scout Gold Award, the highest honor a Girl Scout can earn, acknowledges the power behind each recipient’s dedication to not only empowering and bettering herself, but also to making the world a better place for others. These young women are courageous leaders and visionary change makers. They are our future, and it looks bright!
The steps to becoming a Gold Award Girl Scout are rooted in the Girl Scout Leadership Experience. To achieve this honor, a girl must:
- Choose an issue she cares about.
- Investigate everything she can about the issue.
- Get help by inviting others to support and take action with her.
- Create a plan that achieves sustainable and measurable impact.
- Present her plan and get feedback from the Girl Scout council.
- Take action to carry out her plan.
- Educate and inspire others with what she experienced.
- Complete at least 80 hours working on the project.
Girl Scouts of Eastern Iowa and Western Illinois
Through the Girl Scout Program, girls learn to face challenges head-on, embrace failure as a learning opportunity, create lasting relationships, and find dynamic solutions to social issues—all while building the skills and courage they need to take the lead every day and empower themselves for life. To join or volunteer, visit www.GirlScoutsToday.org.