Going for the gold with courage, confidence, and character

March 10, 2008

By Jen Bakken
Staff Writer

Girl Scouts builds girls of courage, confidence, and character who make the world a better place.

Today, being a Girl Scout means having the courage to be yourself, and discover the many possibilities the world has to offer.

It means having the confidence to know you can accomplish your goals, and making a difference by giving back to the community.

It is with this courage, confidence, and character that local Girl Scout Kim DeBeer has been working to earn her Gold award.

In Girl Scouts, the Gold award is the highest award girls ages 14 to 18 can receive.

It can be described as “what you really want to be remembered for” in Girl Scouting.

According to the Girls Scouts’ web site, the leadership skills, organizational skills, and sense of community and commitment that come from “going for the Gold” set the foundation for a lifetime of active citizenship.

Community involvement is something DeBeer has put her heart into. She helped develop the Delano-Franklin Township Heritage Fest, and cataloged items in the Heritage Center while working on her Girl Scout silver award.

With this same spirit and devotion, she decided to organize a Power Soccer tournament with the Courage Center. Power Soccer is for people with disabilities who use electric wheelchairs.

The game is played in a gymnasium, with each team allowed four players on the court at one time, including the goalkeeper.

Players’ wheelchairs are equipped with foot guards to maneuver a 13-inch soccer ball around the other players while attempting to score the most goals.

“I picked this event because my part-time job is as a nanny for a couple children with special needs,” DeBeer said. “I am hoping to bring awareness to our community about what people with special needs can do, and introduce the Courage Center to our area.”

The Courage Center is a non-profit rehabilitation and resource center that helps to enhance the lives of people with disabilities, encouraging them to reach their full potential in every aspect of life.

Since December, DeBeer has been working on this event, from making contacts, planning and organizing the tournament, to finding sponsors for necessary items.

There are seven main steps to earning the Gold award in Girl Scouts that include building a framework, earning three Girl Scout award charms, planning your Gold award project, making the project happen, and, finally, evaluating your project.

While the project has to be something outside of the Girl Scout community, it also needs to have the ability to be repeated in the future. DeBeer has to put 65 hours of work into her project.

DeBeer feels like this is her last hoorah as a senior Girl Scout and, as a junior at Delano High School, it feels bittersweet to her. DeBeer is the daughter of Harry and Debbie DeBeer of Montrose.

“It’s kind of sad. I’ve been in scouts since I was a Daisy in kindergarten,” she said. “But, I’m excited about the Power Soccer tournament and hope it’s a success.”

The Power Soccer Gold Award Blizzard Blast will take place Saturday, March 29 at the Tiger Activity Center from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

With eight teams, the round robin tournament will be a free day full of fun, and everyone in the community is welcome to attend.

For more information on Girl Scouts visit www.girlscouts.org; and for more information on Power Soccer or the Courage Center, visit its web site at www.courage.org.

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