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Michaela Erfling Goes for Gold in Girl Scouts

Junior Michaela Erfling has been in Girl Scouts since kindergarten and currently works on a project to receive her Gold Award, the highest level in Girl Scouts


Credit to Alex Rowe

Junior Michaela Erfling shows the Girl Scout’s sign. Erfling has received her Bronze and Silver awards and is working on receiving her Gold Award. Erfling and her troop held a donation drive to receive their Bronze Awards. She received her Silver Award by donating items to Five Acres Animal Shelter. “I like how it benefits different organizations and I like the feeling of seeing the difference I’ve made,” Erfling said.

By Heidi Hauptman

Only 5.4 percent of eligible Girl Scouts successfully earn the Gold Award. Junior Michaela Erfling will soon become a part of that 5.4 percent. The Gold Award is the highest achievement within the Girl Scouts of the USA, earned by Senior and Ambassador Girl Scouts. Erfling will receive her Gold Award by creating a lending library for the Mid-America Family Transplant House. This is a family house where people can stay and recover if they or their family member has an organ transplant in St. Louis.

“I came up with the idea for my Gold Award project because my cousin Hayden had a kidney transplant when he was 2,” Erfling said. “Since then, me and my family have just kind of been in affiliation with them and it really just sort of fell into place.”

Receiving a Gold Award in Girl Scouts is a seven-step process that requires a lot of time on the girl’s part. In order to get started working on her project, Erfling had to come up with a project idea in January. After she came up with the idea, she then had to do paperwork and get the project approved by the Girl Scout Council. This process involved filling out a questionnaire packet, creating a timeline and a budget for her project and then presenting this to a board. After the board approved Erfling’s project in March, she started working on it by collecting various items and talking to a contact at the Mid-America Family Transplant House.

“Michaela has definitely shown a lot of great skills throughout this process,” Kelly Bogda, Erfling’s troop leader, said. “You have to put at least 80 hours of work into something like this. She is obviously very self motivated. She also has shown great time management. She has had to work hard to figure out how she is going to do this along with other school things as well.”

Erfling will be the first girl in her troop to receive the Gold Award. After she finishes working on her project, she will have to reflect on what she learned by presenting her Girl Scout Gold Award final report to her council.

“I am very excited to see how everything will turn out once I am done with my project,” Erfling said. “I have put a lot of time and effort into this and I know it will be something that I can be proud of for years to come and I am excited to see how it will benefit and help others.”