By SHEA STASKOWSKI
Girl Scout Shanice Campbell is working toward her Gold Award project for troop 20140.
The female equivalent of an Eagle Scout project, the Gold Award project is the highest honor a girl scout can receive. It is required that the project impact the community in a positive way, and the project must be sustainable.
Campbell, a Starkville High School senior, decided to host a one-day camp called A Day to Smile for children with special needs.
“I just really want to reach out to children with special needs,” Campbell said. “Children with disabilities, especially children with Down syndrome, have really touched me, and I just wanted them to have a fun day.”
The camp is for children of all ages and both mental and physical disabilities. It will be held at J. L. King Park March 26 from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m.
“I’m very proud of her for choosing this project, for trying to make a difference in her community and trying to make the community more aware,” said Mary Hogan, troop 20140 leader. “This is a great way to end her scouting career.”
The day camp will include breakfast, lunch, arts and crafts, sing-a-longs, games and physical exercise. She also hopes to have community members like the mayor and business owners there to participate in activities to make the day special for the campers.
“The purpose of my camp is to show the community how children with special needs are unique and a blessing,” Campbell said. “I want to show people that children with special needs are no different than others.”
In the fall, Campbell will attend the University of Alabama to study physical therapy, where she hopes to specialize in children with disabilities. And because the Gold Award project must be sustained, she will return each spring to continue to host the camp.
To register for the free camp, or for more information, call 418-5736 or 617-2763.
As part of the Gold Award project, Campbell is required to seek funding from local organizations in order to put on the camp and provide the activities she wants to provide. For those interested in helping Campbell with donations, contact her at 418-5736.