People & Places: Local Girl Scout receives Gold Award

Making a difference motivated her to earn the top honor

Girl Scout Recepient, Ellie Bowen.

Girl Scout Recepient, Ellie Bowen.

About 13 years ago, Prescott Valley resident Ellie Bowen said she saw that her mother was a leader in the Girl Scouts and that her sister had done it, making her want to join in. It seemed really fun and they did a lot of fun things, she said.

Recently, Bowen received the Girl Scout Gold Award, the highest honor a Girl Scout can receive and the equivalent to becoming an Eagle Scout in the Boy Scouts. Bowen said she didn’t know that she would go all the way to getting her Gold Award at first. That changed after a while, she said.

“Once I’d been in it for a little while, I knew it was something I wanted to do,” Bowen said.

In order to earn the Gold Award, Bowen had to create a project that continues to give back to the community long after moving on, a project that can often take as long as 18 to 24 months to complete, said HMA Public Relations Account Coordinator Sara Goodwin in an email.

Bowen’s project was to make the Life Connections Pregnancy Center in Prescott Valley more welcoming and as such, renovated the lobby with fresh paint and new furniture, she wrote, noting that Bowen continually kept the area clean through vacuuming and washing windows.

“She also created brochures with information and resources for pregnant women and organized donations made to the center into ‘Mom Bags,” Goodwin wrote.

Bowen said she got the idea to renovate the center after volunteering for a while and noticing that it looked like the center needed help. To that end, the choice was made to get out there and make a change, she said.

Most of the project went pretty smoothly, Bowen said, commenting that the only hiccup was in its timing. The center is open a lot and she was in school, so finding a time to go in and do the project proved challenging, she said. Yet, even though it was a challenge, Bowen said the project taught her a lot about being a team leader and noted she feels accomplished in finishing the project and receiving the award.

“It’s more than just the award. It’s that I got the help somewhere I care about and make an impact in the community,” she said. “It’s just kind of nice to see that you can actually make a difference if you want to and if there’s something that you see needs a change, you can make a difference. Just something small can make an impact.”

Bowen said she hopes the women coming to the center look through the resource pamphlet she made and see what’s in the community so they can educate themselves on what’s around Prescott Valley and find the help they need.