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Fairmont Girl Scouts Gold Award: Local girl earns opportunities

Local Girl Scout Janessa Nelson recently received her Girl Scouts Gold Award pin for her “hammock villages” project.

FAIRMONT — Though not in use at the moment, the “hammock villages” in Fairmont’s own Cedar Creek and Sylvania Parks stand ready for the day parks can fully reopen. the villages were put together by Girl Scout Janessa Nelson for her Gold Award Project.

Built last year, Nelson stated she got the idea from her sister.

“We hammock a lot when we camp, and so we’re always bringing hammock stands because there’s no place to tie them up,” she said at the time. “So we found these on Pinterest, and we thought it was really cool.”

Earlier this month, Nelson received her Gold award pin. Like everything else, that process was done virtually. Nelson describes her experience.

“The entire process was online, so I had to fill out a questionnaire,” she said. “It wasn’t huge, but it felt huge. There were questions about what I learned, the impact on the community, and of course how many hours I spent on the project.

“It was maybe more work than the actual project, but it was nice because a lot of the questions help you reflect on everything.”

Nelson’s recognition was not her only recent accomplishment. She was also elected to the River Valleys Council Board of Directors for one year.

“I was chosen to be the girl representative on the board, and that’s really exciting. The board of directors is a group of volunteers, mostly. We make some decisions that impact the entire River Valleys subgroup.

“We do a lot of that virtually now, which is really hard. It’s like three or four hour meetings and we just talk about issues that we’re having and how we can improve certain things.

Right now we talk time to time about coronavirus and how it affects Girl Scouts. We also talk about how we can improve certain things, and the goals that we have and the programs that we’re trying to start. That’s how we spend a lot of our time.”

The opportunities don’t end there, as Nelson was also elected as one of 20 delegates to the National Conference in Orlando in October.

“So River Valleys has an annual meeting, in which we vote on things like budget and talk about what happened in the previous year and they get our opinion on it. The National Conference is just like that and it’s just girls from all over the country, even some from Canada.

“There’s going to be a lot of voting, but there’s a lot of fun activities too where we can learn and just meet each other.”

Nelson shared that she is hopeful the event will go on as planned, but stated that leaders are weighing their options in ligt of COVID-19.

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