Olivia observed that bullying and other undesirable behaviors were a common issue on her middle school’s playground. Olivia discovered that oftentimes the cause of bullying is due to boredom and low self-esteem. After talking with her school’s principal and creating a presentation for the school’s building committee about the behaviors she observed and the benefits of structured activities during recess, Olivia was granted approval to build a Gaga Pit. The game of Gaga is played throughout the U.S. and it is short and fast paced, so many kids can play the game during a recess period.
Olivia feels that she gained confidence with public speaking and that her project allowed her to talk with and share ideas with people she wouldn’t normally interact with. She demonstrated her leadership abilities by presenting her ideas to community groups and businesses when asking for material donations and organizing construction days for the group of volunteers that assisted her with her project.
She ensured the sustainability of her project by constructing the Gaga Pit out of durable materials that will last 3-5 years before maintenance is required. She also ensured its sustainability by placing the Gaga Pit within view of the school’s security cameras, which will discourage vandalism.
One obstacle Olivia faced while working on her project was convincing people to donate to her cause. She quickly discovered that sharing pictures of her intended structure helped people to better understand her project and its importance. Olivia is proud to have taken a stand against bullying and putting a positive spin on what could be a negative situation.
Her advice to other’s earning their Silver Award is to “be super over prepared and it’s ok to get a no thanks answer.”
Silver Award Girl Scout, Olivia Marion
01 May 2020