Teen earns scouting’s top honor


By Chris Bavender

A Carmel High School graduate has earned the Girl Scouts’ highest honor – the Gold Award. Charlotte Jolly received the award for her project, “Building Bridges with Foreign Languages,” which focused on encouraging students to pursue foreign language studies.

“I decided on my project after my seven week stay in France the summer of 2012,” said Jolly, a scout since the seventh grade. “Under an honor code to only speak, listen to and read French, I became completely immersed in the language and culture. I knew that I wanted to inform others of the benefits of learning a language so they could experience the wonders of it too.”

Jolly spent a month planning the project, which included a video.

“A friend and I took a bit of time to create, edit and distribute the video to the teachers, but it also took a while to receive confirmation from the schools that they were willing to participate in my project,” Jolly said.

She also donated foreign language books to a school library, talked to students and parents and tutored middle school students a few hours each week for four months.

“The students and the teachers gave a wonderfully positive reaction to my video, stating that it led to great class discussions and the teachers told me they planned to play it each semester for their new students to enjoy,” Jolly said. “The librarians were extremely grateful to receive the foreign language books to add to their collection.”

The Girl Scout Gold Award recognizes the leadership and impact a young woman can have on her community.

“Charlotte embodied the spirit of the Girl Scout Gold Award with this project; she saw her passion for languages as a way to fulfill a need in her community,” said Jaime Hubbard, program development coordinator. “After discovering that many students just took the minimum number of foreign language classes required, she felt there was a need to share the value of learning languages with younger students.”

“To me, the gold award represents hard work and passion. When someone says they have received their Gold Award, I know that she changed her community for the better in a way that is not easy to do,” Jolly said.

A freshman at Indiana University, Jolly is studying French and interior design.