COLUMBUS – Girl Scouts of Ohio’s Heartland has awarded Portsmouth resident Katie Rigsby the Girl Scout Gold Award – the highest award a Girl Scout can earn. Her project focused on documenting the history of Stockdale Cemetery and to beautify the community as well as inspire others to preserve the area’s historical record.
The Girl Scout Gold Award represents the highest achievement in Girl Scouting; it recognizes girls in grades nine through 12 who demonstrate extraordinary leadership through sustainable and measurable Take Action projects. Since 1916, girls have successfully answered the call to go Gold, an act that indelibly marks them as accomplished members of their communities and the world.
For Rigsby’s project, entitled Stockdale Cemetery Cleanup, she created a written log of those buried in the Stockdale Cemetery since one did not exist. Names and dates on each headstone were documented, stones were cleaned and trash was cleared in the cemetery. Rigsby had aerial photos taken to create a map of the cemetery to make it easier for people to locate their ancestors, and an historical plaque made after researching the area. Rigsby donated the historical documentation she developed to the local library to preserve the area’s history going forward.
“Katie exemplifies what it means to be a Girl Scout,” said Tammy Wharton, President and Chief Executive Officer for Girl Scouts of Ohio’s Heartland. “Not only do Gold Award projects help communities, they also give girls important leadership skills, teaching them to support issues that they care about and seek out solutions. I applaud Katie and all our 2021 Gold Award Girl Scouts for being innovators, big thinkers and role models.”
The Gold Award is a national award, with national standards, representing a Girl Scout’s time, leadership, creativity and effort to improving her community. In 2021, 13 girls in the Girl Scouts of Ohio’s Heartland 30-county region earned the Gold Award. The Gold Award is awarded to fewer than 6 percent of Girl Scouts annually, and each Gold Award Girl Scout spends 1 to 2 years on her project. Approximately one million Girl Scouts have earned the Gold Award or its equivalent since 1916.
The council serves 16,107 girls and has 4,691 direct service volunteers. Girls dedicate a minimum of 80 hours to complete the steps to earn the Girl Scout Gold Award. Rigsby is currently attending Shawnee State University and has been a Girl Scout for 11 years as a member of Troop 574. She plans to pursue a degree in education. She is the daughter of Duane and Linda Rigsby.