Port Orchard’s own Karla Lewis won the esteemed Girl Scout Gold Award for her work in donating hygiene kits to the Kitsap County Juvenile Detention Center.
Lewis, who recently began her freshman year of college at Corban University in Oregon, set up donation bins at her church for the congregation to donate deodorant, toothpaste, body wash and similar items that she packed into backpacks for delivery.
“I had this idea, and after talking to my Girl Scouts leader, I contacted the center and asked if there was anything they needed more donations of,” Lewis said.
Lewis joined Girl Scouts when she was in the first grade. Her mother had been a Girl Scout in her youth, and Lewis’ older sister also began taking part.
“I saw my sister doing it and thought, ‘Ooh, I want to do that,’” she said. “I thought it would be fun. I’ve made a lot of good friends.”
Other than her gold award, Lewis said the most important thing she took away was her leadership capabilities.
“It’s cool I was able to get the award and put it on my resume,” she said. “It shows, ‘Hey, I’ve done a lot of community service and worked as a leader.’ I can show friends and family what it takes to be a good leader.”
The Girl Scouts Gold Award is the highest achievement within the Girl Scouts of the USA. Only 5.4 percent of eligible Girl Scouts successfully earn the Gold Award.
In order to qualify for the award, each individual must plan and implement an individual “Take Action” project that reaches beyond the Girl Scout organization and provides a sustainable, lasting benefit to the girl’s larger community.
The service project requires a minimum of 80 hours of work in planning and completing the project. All of these hours must be completed by the awardee. Plans must be developed with the aid of an advisor. A project proposal must be submitted and approved by the girl’s local council before starting the project, and a final report must be submitted and approved after the project’s completion.
Lewis was a member of Troop 41125 in Port Orchard.
“It’s a national thing,” she said. “Anyone in the United States can get it if they put in the effort. Winning it is really special.”