The Gold Award, according to Eva Parks Spero, director of Communications and Marketing for Girl Scouts N.C. Coastal Pines, has evolved from a long line of Girl Scout leadership awards, which dates as far back as 1919.
Considered the “highest award a Girl Scout, between the ages of 14 and 18, can achieve, currently only 5.4 percent of eligible candidates actually earn the award annually.”
By recognizing Girl Scouts who demonstrate leadership, career planning, personal development and community service, N.C. Coastal Pines officials felt Carr to be a women “who goes for the Gold,” through dedication and determination.
Carr, the daughter of Dr. Bill and Nancy Carr, has been an active Girl Scout since 1996, however, is currently a Juliette — independent scout.
Investing a significant amount of time (three years to be exact) in order to receive this emanate award, Carr was assisted by Membership director for Sampson County Girl Scouts, Jennifer Bass and Gold Award project advisor, Margaret Turlington in making sure all of the paper work was in check.
“I asked Mrs. Margaret Turlington to be my Girl Scout Gold Award Project Advisor and Ms. Jennifer Bass, to be my Event Director. Both were very generous with their time and offered valuable advice to help me complete the Gold Award,” Carr noted.
“I reviewed all of her paper work and re-checked anything that she had needed to change,” Turlington elaborated earlier this week.
According to Turlington, Carr began her journey for the “Gold” during her sophomore year of high school with community service. And as the years leading up to her senior year progressed, she completed tasks to earn badges, such as leadership, sports and water, as well as a challenge pin through a hierarchy pyramid.
However, Carr added, “Before the Gold Award Project could begin, the Girl Scouts - North Carolina Coastal Pines Council must approve my Gold Award Project Proposal. I satisfied the following prerequisites during my sophomore and junior year of high school, so that I could conduct my project during my senior year."
The first step when “going for the Gold,” is to build a framework. Within this bottom tier, Carr and Turlington officially joined together to start building “a timeline.”
The next level, step two, was designed to encourage the Gold seeker to “take action,” by completing a certain number of hours in a leadership position.
“For the leadership badge, I had to complete a certain number of hours (32) from all of the clubs I am an officer in, “Cara Beth advanced.
After 32 hours of “community service” through leading school based groups such as Latin Club (president), Key Club (president), Technology Student Association (vice president) and Students Against Destructive Decisions (founder and president), an ambitious Carr completed her requirements for the Gold Leadership badge.
“I also earned three Interest Patches — Space Exploration; On the Court; A to V: Audiovisual Production,” she advanced.
Adjacent to the leadership badge, Carr also received the sports and water badge under the third step, “career award.”
“I had to have a job for a certain amount of time (40 hours), and it just so happened that the summer before I was a life guard, so this was applied towards this badge.”
For the fourth level, Carr acquired a challenge pin, which is characterized as the “4-B’s;” meaning, become, belong, believe and build.
“Become,” required Carr to set and achieve two goals related to self-improvement; “belong,” encouraged her to create a community profile to find out what areas need assistance; “believe,” asked for Carr to derive a vision for her project and “build,” a network of people who might help with the developing of your project.
For the “4-B’s” portion of the Gold Award, which also coincided with the fifth “project” step, young Carr wanted to educate her peers on the consequences to “destructive decision” under the organization of SADD chapter at CHS.
“I was approved for the project last summer. Everyone was really willing to help and wanted to help,” the young Carr spoke regarding her SADD chapter.
“After receiving approval for my Gold Award Project Proposal, I could begin planning my mock car crash dramatization. No (hands on) work could be done until the approval was received,” Carr reminded.
Within this project, Carr hosted a mock DUI car crash in the fall of 2008, where she was joined by roughly 800 community members and fellow students. She also acquired assistance from Clinton Police, EMS, the Fire Department and Duke Life Flight, which is the critical care transport helicopter.
Because all of the paperwork for the Gold Award had to be submitted by November, Carr stated that she had to work extremely fast for the final tier of the pyramid, “think about it,” which required Carr and Turlington to reflect, evaluate and submit the final report.
After receiving her Gold Award only weeks ago, Cara Beth voiced, “It was great. I had been waiting for it so long and it never came, so I just forgot about it. When it did finally come I was like ‘oh cool.’ The Gold Award itself is a huge honor, and it is even more special because I spent so much time on it, and I touched so many in my community.”
One community member in which she has “toughed” is her minister, Dr. Ed Gunter of First United Methodist Church.
Serving on the First United Methodist Church Youth Fellowship, Gunter characterized Cara Beth as “a team player.”
“Whatever she does, whether it be working with youth programs in church, playing sports or being active in student government, she puts her whole heart into it ... that is for sure. She is passionate about everything and everyone, and that is what makes her so unique.”
In addition to serving as a Girl Scout, young community leader and an invested student, Carr also is a member of the TSA, Key Club, Varsity Soccer and Tennis, SADD Club (which she founded at CHS), Latin Club and Dance.
Gunter further commented that Carr “cares nothing at about getting awarded in anything she does, but rather helping the cause (whatever it may be).”
He also voiced that the “humble” teen inherited some of her traits from her mother — Nancy Carr, executive director for United Way.
“I worked with her mother in United Way, and she is just like her mother. They are both very compassionate and are trying to make a difference in their community, as well as church.”
Before concluding, the minister characterized the young Carr as “one that always does the right thing — one that we’d all hope to have in our families.”
Jessica Wagner can be contacted at (910) 592-8137 ext.122 or reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org