When Clinton-Massie seventh-grader Christina Tidwell set her sights on earning the Girl Scout Silver Award, little did she know the difference her efforts would make in the lives of others — and her own.
A seven-year member of Girl Scout Troop 32551, Tidwell has earned several badges leading up to earning the Silver Award that offers scouts the opportunity to accomplish great things while making the community better in the process. It is the highest award a Girl Scout Cadette can earn.
When Christina first began thinking about her Silver Award project, she took into account her mother’s suggestion that she make dresses for the “Dress a Girl Around the World” campaign. That dreams of a world in which every girl has at least one new dress and every girl knows that she is worthy and respected and that she is loved by God.
Christina’s commitment to her project grew even deeper based on her knowledge that the Girl Scout Law asks scouts to “use resources wisely, make the world a better place, and be a sister to every Girl Scout,” and from Christina’s perspective, the girls receiving her dresses were, in a sense, her sisters.
Considering that Christina and her mother were both inexperienced when it came to sewing, the two worked together to formulate a plan. Her mother, Jill, would take the two-hour class to learn how to make the dresses, and then mother and daughter would work together to develop the techniques Christina would need to move forward with the project.
With the goal of meeting the 50-hour service project in mind, Christina committed to making 50 dresses — one dress each hour. By summer’s end, 50 dresses bearing the “Dress a Girl” tag were ready to ship around the world, and Christina had earned the Silver Award.
According to Christina’s mother, the award was nice to receive, but Christina gained much more from the project. She learned to write business letters asking several companies for supplies. She designed and sewed all the dresses, and then returned to the company that donated fabric to show the fruits of her labor.
The owner was so impressed with Christina’s work ethic that she invited Christina to come back when she was 16, and she would give her a job.
Looking back on this experience, Christina says she would encourage those pursuing the Silver Award to have confidence in their work and stay committed, as halfway through her own project, she began doubting her sewing sills and wanted to try something different.
But with the encouragement of her mother, Christina stayed with it and honored her commitment to “Dress a Girl Around the World.”
Information for this article was provided by Diana Miller, who coordinates communications for several area schools.