WICHITA, Kan. — Girl Scouts of Kansas Heartland congratulates Lexi A. for becoming a Gold Award Girl Scout, a designation she earned by cleaning, organizing, and refurbishing 12 telescopes at two camp properties (Starwoods Outdoor Center and Camp Four Winds) as well as creating a telescope and astronomy training program for volunteers and camp staff.
The Gold Award is the mark of the truly remarkable — earned by a high school Girl Scout who works to address an issue she’s passionate about in a way that produces meaningful and lasting change. Whether it’s on a local, national, or global level, Gold Award Girl Scouts provide innovative solutions to significant challenges.
“Gold Award Girl Scouts don’t just change the world for the better, they change it for good — and Lexi embodies everything this achievement stands for," said Rolinda Sample, chief executive officer of Girl Scouts of Kansas Heartland. “Lexi addressed an issue that’s important to her — updating the telescopes and training programs at the Starwoods Outdoor Center and Camp Four Winds — for her Gold Award, and we congratulate her on this momentous accomplishment.”
With a passion for the outdoors, learning, and astronomy, Lexi envisioned a better astronomy program for Kansas Girl Scouts interested in STEM and for those attending camps. Originally between the two camps, there were only two working telescopes. Lexi increased that number to 12 by cleaning and refurbishing all of the pieces of each telescope. She then created an organizational system to categorize and label each telescope based on their functionality and usage.
Once that was complete, she hosted multiple in-person training sessions with camp staff and volunteers. She also created an online training so all volunteers would have access to it and be able to complete the telescope training which then allows them to check-out the telescopes while their troop is at camp. The training consists of information on telescope parts, how to calibrate a telescope, how to use it, and then how to put it away correctly.
“I’ve always loved astronomy and the stars so I wanted to give younger Girl Scouts the chance to learn about astronomy,” Lexi said. “My goal is for each leader that completes the training to have learned how to find at least one constellation on their own.”