Heidi Schmidt-Rundell from Iowa City, Iowa, has achieved the Gold Award, the highest award a Girl Scout can achieve, for creating a community powered organization dedicated to providing fresh fruit for those in need.
“There are people in my community who don't have access to fresh fruit,” Schmidt-Rundell said. “Orchard For All is an organization dedicated to help tackle this issue by providing fresh cherries and apples for local food pantries. The six fruit trees in the orchard are ready to harvest at different times ranging from August to November, making the fruit accessible throughout the year.”
Schmidt-Rundell lead a team of volunteers to clear an area for the orchard, install a walkway, put up fencing, and of course, plant and care for the trees. She was able to fundraise for the necessary supplies through grants, monetary donations, and in kind donation of materials by community businesses.
“Families have joined Orchard For All and promised to take care of the orchard, and this group will only continue to grow,” Schmidt-Rundell said. “As for training, I have created a slideshow that volunteers will use to learn how to care of the trees, as well as the opportunity to work with any current caretakers of the orchard.”
Families can come to the orchard to learn about the care of fruit trees, and the first yield of apples that are able to be donated are expected this fall.
How long have you been a Girl Scout?
I have been a Girl Scout for fourteen years.
What do you love about Girl Scouting?
I love that Girl Scouts teaches you so many important life skills
such as teamwork, leadership, and financial wellness. Additionally, I
love the people involved throughout the organization, as well as all
of the amazing opportunities Girl Scouts provides.
What role has Girl Scouts played in your life?
Girl Scouts has really helped me develop into the person I am today.
It has taught me many valuable skills, lessons, and values. Girl
Scouts has also introduced me to some of my closest friends.
What is your next step after earning your Gold Award?
I am going to the University of Northern Iowa, starting as an
Learn more about the Girl
Scout Gold Award and the steps to achieve this distinguished