17-year-old achieves highest honor after working at it since ninth grade SOUTHWEST--Mount Airy * Woodbine * Taylorsville * Winfield


March 29, 1993|By Kathy Sutphin | Kathy Sutphin,Contributing Writer

From recycling 100-pound concrete blocks behind South Carroll High School to serving as an aide during Maryland Science Center youth sleep-ins, Heather Daniels has devoted countless hours to Girl Scouting.

Her dedication was recognized yesterday when the 17-year-old South Carroll senior received the organization's highest honor, the Gold Award, during a dinner and ceremony put on by her parents, Earl and Sherry Daniels of Winfield.

At the event, held at the Freedom Community Center, Heather was presented with a symbol of the prestigious award, a gold pin depicting a radiant star.

"It makes me feel very good about what I've done -- that hard work pays off and that I've achieved one of my goals," Heather said.

The Girl Scout award, which is equivalent to the Boy Scout's Eagle rank, is rarely achieved, according to Girl Scout service team member Beverly Rose.

"She is the fifth Girl Scout in the Mount Airy-Winfield area to achieve this honor," said Mrs. Rose. "And all five of these girls have been under the leadership of Karen Larrimore. She's a wonderful leader."

Involved in Scouting since kindergarten, Heather started earning her Gold Award in ninth grade. As part of this goal, she said she has served as an assistant Brownie leader for Mount Airy Troop 617, served as the president of Senior Troop 514, worked on career exploration by being employed at Kmart and fulfilled a year's worth of personal challenges.

"I had to find out the things about myself that were bad and find ways to make them better," said Heather, noting that the challenges included recognizing that she was a procrastinator and then working to be "on time."

The biggest task in earning the Gold Award was doing a special project of at least four months' duration, said Heather. With the help of South Carroll science teacher Robert Foor-Hogue and students in the school's Environmental Club and science research classes, Heather planned and executed an erosion-control project for wetlands behind the high school.

Using topsoil, mulch and 11 heavy concrete blocks that had been discarded behind the school, Heather and her classmates created a natural staircase that they hope will allow the school's stream to support trout.

"We used [the blocks] to secure the soil and prevent rapid runoff of rain into the stream -- it's a tributary of the Piney Run reservoir," said Heather. "It was fun to do; a lot of people helped."

Staying in Girl Scouts has been important to Heather, who said her parents have always encouraged her to do her best.

A Maryland Distinguished Scholar and secretary of South Carroll's National Honor Society, Heather has many interests in addition to Girl Scouting. A four-year band member and section leader at South Carroll who plays the flute and piccolo, Heather is also a member of the Ladies Chorus Ensemble and serves as the managing editor of the school newspaper.

Heather said she plans to stay active in Girl Scouting during her college years, if possible, and would like to be a Girl Scout leader after she graduates. Accepted into the Honors College at Towson State University, Heather said she plans to study "anything but math," adding, "I'm interested in history."

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