Going for the Girl Scout ‘Gold’
Misialek working for top award through AED project
Erin Misialek began her Girl Scout career as a Daisy when she was a kindergarten student at Hewitt Elementary in Minto. Now the Minto High School sophomore is working toward earning the highest achievement in the Girl Scout program – the Girl Scout Gold Award.
Open only to Girl Scouts in high school, the award mirrors the Boy Scout Eagle Award. Its purpose is to challenge scouts to solve a community problem through a special project.
Misialek saw a need for automated external defibrillators (AEDs) to be placed in public gathering places throughout her community.
“I had been brainstorming about my project, when a heard a story on TV about how more and more schools were getting the AEDs,” Misialek commented. “I thought it was something my community could use too.”
She completed the Gold Award application process, presented her project to the Girl Scout division headquarters and participated in a phone interview. Once approved, she took action to initiate the project.
With the help of fellow Girl Scouts, she began fundraising to cover the cost of purchasing the AEDs which was more than $1,300 each. As a group, they had already held several fundraising events including a spaghetti supper featuring a Vessel of Praise concert to cover the cost of a troop trip. The funds that were not used for the trip were designated to help with the AED project. Additionally, the troop held a pancake breakfast with a silent auction and bake sale. They also did manual labor for area residents.
“I got a lot of donations from people who thought it was a good idea and wanted to see it happen,” Misialek commented.
Five AEDs were purchased through Valley Ambulance and Rescue Service and have been placed in the Minto Community Center and area churches. Saturday, Feb. 2, Erin held a public presentation at the community center on the use of the AEDs, with the help of Lisa Albrecht who is an RN.
About 20 people attended the presentation that offered basic first aid training, what to do if someone is choking and CPR certification, along with training on how to properly use the AED. Misialek said most of the people who attended got certified in CPR, herself included.
Misialek put about 80 hours into her Gold Award project, but for her it was time well spent.
“I hope no one in the community ever has to use the AEDs, but it is good to know they are here if they are needed,” she remarked.
The Girl Scout program
Misialek said being a Girl Scout has provided opportunities for her that she otherwise would not have experienced. She has enjoyed a trip to Washington, D.C., New York City and Philadelphia, Pa., went dog sledding and is eligible to apply for college scholarships.
“Starting Girl Scouts and sticking with it is the first step,” Misialek said. “In the future, if they see on a college or job application that you have received Girl Scout awards it can really help you out. There are also college scholarships available.”