Silver Award Girl Scout, Katy Hankinson
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Silver Award Girl Scout, Katy Hankinson


Silver Award Girl Scout, Katy Hankinson

Flag Ceremony Etiquette

Katy observed at her local community’s Memorial Day parade, and at other events she attended with flag ceremonies, that people did not know the proper etiquette regarding raising and handling the American flag. Katy connected with a member of the American Legion, who then became her project advisor, to discuss ways to educate youth on proper flag etiquette. She discovered that the American Legion has a program that teaches third graders proper flag etiquette, but Katy knew her project needed to extend to youths of all ages. With guidance from her project advisor, Katy created a series of flag etiquette guides, including an instructional video, a step-by-step written booklet, and an educational workshop. All of these elements ensured the sustainability of Katy’s project, as they not only teach those who use them a new skill, they can be easily shared and recreated. Additionally, Katy made these resources available at her local library so that citizens of any age can learn proper flag etiquette.

One of Katy’s goals for her project was to educate and personally instruct 20 different groups using the resources she created. Katy achieved that goal by demonstrating her leadership ability through customizing how she taught the different groups based on their ages, energy levels, and enthusiasm, while learning how to be patient and enhancing her public speaking skills. One unexpected success of her project was talking to younger Girl Scout troops about opportunities available to them as they get older. She discovered the younger girls were interested in the badges and Journey awards on her vest and would often ask her questions.

When asked what she learned through her Silver Award project Katy said “be prepared to answer questions about Girl Scouts and the Silver Award during your project because many people will ask questions, not just about your project.”