Eagle and Gold Projects Enhance Community

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K. Evans

Alyssa Wendt works towards achieving her Gold Award.

Jessica Coleman, Staff Writer

Miramonte is home to many Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts, many of whom have been involved since their elementary years. After years of commitment, upperclassmen are required to spend extensive amounts of energy and time to gain the Gold Award or Eagle Scout Award, the highest achievement in the Girl Scout and Boy Scout of America organizations. The Mirador recognizes several recent Gold Award and Eagle Scout Award recipients from Miramonte.

Kyle Weikert

Junior Kyle Weikert, a Boy Scout member of troop 237 since fourth grade, decided to complete his Eagle Scout Award at his elementary school, Sleepy Hollow.

“I wanted to give back to Sleepy Hollow because I loved all of my six years there,” said Weikert.

After meeting with the principal, he was inspired to build a garden arbor over a bench near the school’s entrance. Weikert built a large garden arbor, tore up and redesigned a gravel pathway, and decorated the area with stones and plants. It took two months to complete the project.

“I dedicated the arbor to a long time teacher at Sleepy Hollow,  Kay Aaker, who I had for 3rd grade,” said Weikert.
He received his Eagle Award in March 2010.

Katie Evans and Alyssa Wendt

Seniors Katie Evans and Alyssa Wendt, who have been girl scouts since first grade, began the long process during their sophomore year.

In June 2010, Evans and Wendt planted an apple tree and built a garden at St. Stephens Church and Nursery School. Gold Award requirements suggest that girl scouts must choose a project that is sustainable. Evans and Wendt chose to build a garden because people would appreciate it for years to come, and they could involve the children at the nursery.

“We worked with the two classes and taught them about photosynthesis,” said Evans.
Evans and Wendt planted the garden with fruits, vegetables and flowers. The kids at the nursery school helped to plant the garden.

“I think the kids had a lot of fun,” said Evans. “They loved to work hands on, planting the seeds in dixie cups and then planting the small plants in the planter box and watching them grow.”
Evans and Wendt enjoyed building two planter boxes, planting an apple tree, and making four benches from recycled stumps and wood.

“It was rewarding to see the kids’ faces light up when they got to plant a seed,” said Wendt. “It was amazing to see how we were able to change it from overgrown four foot tall weeds and trees to an open, usable area.”
With about 90 hours spent on their project, they received their award in September 2010.

Nina Berger

Senior Nina Berger, a member of Troop 30316 and a girl scout member since first grade, ran an eight week art class at Wagner Ranch. After school, she instructed third, fourth and fifth grade students about different styles of art.

“We did different art projects each time,” said Berger. “For example, Impressionism with tempura paint, Fauvism with oil pastels, Cubism with collage materials, and Dadaism with watercolors.”

Berger loved spreading her enthusiasm for art to the Wagner Ranch students and watching their self-expression through art. By the end of the course, the students had completed several art projects.

“I held a small in-class art show for the students’ parents then displayed the children’s artwork in the Orinda Library for about a month,” said Berger.

Berger received positive feedback about the art display from the community. Many people have said that it brightened up the children’s section of the library.

“I really liked being able to share my art skills with today’s youth,” said Berger. “I gave them the ability to express themselves through art.”