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Local teen works toward Girl Scout Gold Award

Kaitlin Cianelli designing signs for her April 13 fundraiser festival in Branford. -Photo: Submitted


Kaitlin Cianelli of O’Brien, is 16 and in the eleventh grade. She is working towards her Gold Award in Girl Scouts. On April 13, starting at 10 a.m., she will host a festival to benefit Alzheimer’s patients. She will have games for kids, a bake sale, and a yard sale. For those interested, the fun fair will be in the vacant lot next to Daniels Funeral Home at 408 NW Suwannee Avenue in Branford, across from First Baptist Church.

The Girl Scout Gold Award is comparable to Eagle Scout in Boy Scouts. It is the highest award that a Girl Scout can achieve.

To achieve a Girl Scout Gold Award, each girl must complete a significant, self sustaining project completely on their own. They cannot work along with any other organization.

For the Gold Award, Kaitlin must spend at least 100 hours devising a community service project that is solely her own idea without any affiliation to any other group. It must be sustainable, meaning that once she has the project started, it must be able to be continued by others.

Kaitlin’s idea to achieve the coveted Gold Award involves raising money to help Alzheimer’s patients by hosting games of skill or chance for children, organizing adults to bake goods, and donate yard sale items. With the money she earns from the festival, she plans to buy CDs of folk songs, marches, hymns, and various music from the 50s and 60s era. She will recruit volunteers to sing with the residents in four different memory care facilities, located in Lake City and High Springs.

Kaitlin joined Girl Scout Troop 564 in Branford at age 5 as a Daisy. She participated in crafts, singing, dance, drama, cooking, sports, camping, community service, studying other countries, and learning first aid. Her favorite part of being a Girl Scout is getting to take part in so many varied activities.

“It never gets boring,” she says. She has made many friends throughout her 11 years of being a Girl Scout. She is now an ambassador and is working hard and looking forward to achieving her Gold Award this spring.

So mark your calendars for April 13. Stop by and help support Kaitlin at the festival that will be held at the vacant lot next to Daniels Funeral Home at 408 NW Suwannee Avenue in Branford, across from First Baptist Church. Help her raise enough money to buy lots of music to help Alzheimer’s patients remember some of their favorite songs.