Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois congratulates Madison Sanker from Mascoutah for becoming a Gold Award Girl Scout, a designation she earned while volunteering with Silver Creek Preserve, a local wildlife sanctuary.
“Growing up, I always loved going out in nature,” she said. “I wanted to be able to share my love.”
The Gold Award is the mark of the truly remarkable—earned by a high school Girl Scout who works to address an issue she’s passionate about in a way that produces meaningful and lasting change. Whether it’s on a local, national, or global level, Gold Award Girl Scouts provide innovative solutions to significant challenges.
Madison started her project by replacing missing signage at the preserve – crafting new signs out of polycarbonate and weatherproof vinyl. Next, she planned a field day program for local children – creating lesson plans that covered topics like local area wildlife and plants, as well as the “Leave No Trace” principals of being a good steward of the environment when enjoying nature. She then recruited volunteers from her school’s Art Club, Ecology Club and Science Club, as well as local Girl Scout and Boy Scout Troops. The day of the program, children were able to take guided tours through Silver Creek Preserve while discussing the lessons Madison had made. At the end of the program, there was a fun scavenger hunt.
To help her Gold Award project reach even more community members, Madison also researched and created a pamphlet about Nature Deficit Disorder, which is a growing theory that humans need more time outdoors to thrive. She distributed the pamphlets at local libraries and child care centers. Last, she attended meetings for the St. Clair County Properties and Recreation department and the Mascoutah Chamber of Commerce to discuss her Gold Award project and promote activities at Silver Creek Preserve.
Gold Award Girl Scouts don’t just change the world for the better, they change it for good. The Gold Award is earned by girls in grades 9–12 who demonstrate extraordinary leadership in developing sustainable solutions to local, national, and global challenges. Since 1916, Girl Scouts have answered the call to drive lasting, impactful change. The Gold Award is the mark of the truly remarkable. Along with helping the community be better prepared to prevent and respond to fires, earning the Girl Scout Gold Award helped Madison develop her own abilities as well.
“I learned how to become a better leader and how to lead both people my age and younger,” she said.”
Madison is the daughter of Bradley and Rebecca Sanker. She is a member of the class of 2020 at Mascoutah High School and plans to study music education after graduation.