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Catherine Meenan, 18, a student at Ursuline Academy of Dallas, recently completed her Girl Scout Gold Award by restoring and improving the walkway at the Farmers Branch Historical Park. Catherine became involved with the Farmers Branch Historical District while working on her Girl Scout Silver Award. During that time, she was able to leave her mark on the community, specifically in the Rose Garden. To complete her Girl Scout Gold Award, Catherine led volunteers which included her dance team members, school friends, church friends, and her extended family in the repair and building of a flat, visible, path that is now accessible to all. The Historical Park at Farmers Branch has 100,000 visitors annually with many of them being young children and elderly who need paths that enable them to navigate the park safely. This project now allows the whole community to enjoy the park with ease. In Catherine’s words, “it is so rewarding to be able to give back to the community that has given so much to me.  As my troop leader always says, to those whom much is given, much is expected!”

The Farmers Branch Historical Park offers many opportunities from tours to educational programs to special events. There are rental facilities available, and even a historic baseball team. The concept of the Historical Park came about in 1981 with a movement to develop an outdoor museum. Its purpose is set to preserve and interpret the history of Texas and Peters Colony, with an emphasis on Farmers Branch. More can be learned about the park at:  http://farmersbranchtx.gov/161/Historical-Park

Catherine has been a member of Girl Scouts since 2nd grade and says the program has taught her valuable life skills. One of the most important was leadership skills along with time management, organization, speaking, and persuasion skills. In her own words, “I developed the ability to be a confident leader who can make quick decisions. Also, I learned that as a leader, I do not have to complete everything myself, but instead delegate the work to succeed as a team. In addition, I inspired many of my friends to complete their Girl Scout Gold Award projects.”

The Girl Scout Gold Award, the highest award a Girl Scout can earn, combines leadership development, career exploration and community service.  It culminates in an 80 plus hour leadership project that each girl plans and executes according to her own interest and passions. Each girl must discover an issue in the community, connect with experts and community members, and take action to effect positive change.

For more information about Girl Scouts, call Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas at 972-349-2400. Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas is 26,600 girls and 12,500 adult members strong. That's nearly 40,000 girls and adults who believe every girl can change the world! We have girls reaching their fullest potential in 32 northeast Texas counties. Our girls are discovering what’s important to them, connecting with their community, and taking action to make the world a better place!

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