Girl Scouts from New Canaan Earn Gold Award

Girl Scouts from New Canaan earn highest award in Girl Scouting

Local Girl Scouts Claire Brunner, Caterina Carson, Amanda Hill, Emily Johnson, Olivia Licata, Johanna O’Brien, and Celia Sokoloski have earned the Gold Award, the highest award in Girl Scouting. They were recognized on Wednesday, August 19 at the organization’s Virtual Gold Award Celebration.

The Girl Scout Gold Award requires Girl Scouts in grades 9-12 to spend at least 80 hours researching issues, assessing community needs and resources, building a team, and making a sustainable impact in the community. A Gold Award Girl Scout’s accomplishments reflect leadership and citizenship skills that set her apart as a community leader. Nationally, only 6 percent of older Girl Scouts earn the Gold Award. 

Claire led a team to construct raised walkways through the Watson-Symington Wetlands, where during the wet season, water accumulation leads to exposed roots and a muddy trail. She built 144 feet of continuous walkways made of water resistant materials to ensure year round access to the trail.

Caterina constructed a welcome garden at The Malta House. In order to make the building appear more friendly and welcoming, she built a seating area, added garden elements, and planted a variety of plants in the garden beds and pots. She also established the Malta House Garden Club to oversee the upkeep of the area.

Amanda constructed 160 feet of wooden walkways along a hiking trail at Still Pond Preserve in New Canaan. She built four separate sections, all of which were previously prone to flooding rendering them impassable. Her project increased accessibility for activities such as camping, hiking, and outdoor recreation, as well as spread information about the outdoors.

Emily identified the need for an increase of young women and girls in S.T.E.M. and decided to create a platform to educate young girls. Her project, called “What’s Your Job?” is a YouTube channel that she created and curated with speakers who are in S.T.E.M. careers.

Olivia focused on mental health and disorders that were not regularly addressed at her school. She helped teens understand their feelings and take advantage of the resources that were available to them. Olivia created a mini-documentary and had a panel of professionals visit her school to discuss insightful coping mechanisms and healthy habits.

Johannah used her personal experience to improve representation of hearing aids for young girls. She published a picture book, “Catching Up with Sound,” which addresses life with hearing aids with the mission of spreading awareness and understanding.

Celia assembled a team and built bat houses for her Gold Award project, Save the Bats! The team installed five bat houses in three local parks while simultaneously educating the public. The project emphasized that bats are a critical part of the ecosystem and vital to communities.

“I am so proud of all of our Gold Award Girl Scouts for taking the lead and spending over 80+ hours solving real problems in their communities,” said Mary Barneby, CEO, Girl Scouts of Connecticut. “Nationally, less than 6 percent of girls earn the highest award in Girl Scouting. By earning this award, Girl Scouts set themselves apart as leaders in their community and true examples of go-getters, innovators, risk-takers, and leaders.”’

For more information about the Gold Award or how to become a Gold Award volunteer or mentor, visit

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We’re nearly 37,000 members strong –over 25,000 girls and over 12,000 adults – who believe that every girl can change the world. 

We're 2.5 million strong—more than 1.7 million girls and 750,000 adults who believe in the power of every G.I.R.L. (Go-getter, Innovator, Risk-taker, Leader)™ to change the world. Our extraordinary journey began more than 100 years ago with the original G.I.R.L., Juliette Gordon “Daisy” Low. On March 12, 1912, in Savannah, Georgia, she organized the very first Girl Scout troop, and every year since, we’ve honored her vision and legacy, building girls of courage, confidence, and character who make the world a better place. We’re the preeminent leadership development organization for girls. And with programs from coast to coast and across the globe, Girl Scouts offers every girl a chance to practice a lifetime of leadership, adventure, and success. To volunteer, reconnect, donate, or join, visit