Natalie Kaminski ’22

Senior Natalie Kaminski recently accomplished the highest achievement one can receive in Girl Scouts: She became a Gold Award recipient.

This is no small feat.

According to the Girl Scouts website, “Gold Award Girl Scouts are the dreamers and the doers who take ‘make the world a better place’ to the next level. The Girl Scout Gold Award is the mark of the truly remarkable—proof that not only can she make a difference, but that she already has.”

“I’ve been in the same troop since kindergarten, and we love doing smaller service projects together, but I’m the only one who finished a Gold Award project and I could not have done it without the support of my troop,” explained Natalie.

For her project, she built and installed bat houses around the Charles Young Soldier Monument in Xenia, Ohio. Park officials knew there were bats in the area, but they needed someone to create a habitat to attract them to the property.

“It’s so difficult to come up with an idea for a project, so I was grateful when this opportunity presented itself,” said Natalie. “I applied for and received project approval in the spring and then people from my troop and my friend’s troop helped me build the bat houses. In August, we installed the bat houses, and it was so cool to see it all come together.”

As someone who is interested in architecture, the project was completely on-brand for Natalie.

“This project interested me because I want to study architecture in college,” continued Natalie. “This project gave me the chance to use a bunch of skills, from project management to construction to leadership and team collaboration.”

Natalie also participated in a two-week architecture program at Miami University of Ohio this summer through the university’s Summer Scholars Program.

“It was a great opportunity to experience a glimpse of college life and living in a dorm, and to interact with people who are interested in the same things that I am.”

In addition to being a steadfast Girl Scout – Natalie received the Bronze Award in elementary school and the Silver Award in middle school – she has been an integral member of the golf team since she enrolled at Country Day in 7th grade.  A captain this year, she led her team to a conference victory.

“Being a member of the golf team has been a really big thing for me all these years,” said Natalie. “I couldn’t imagine going to school with a thousand kids in my grade; being at Country Day, I have had a lot more opportunities to be successful than I would have at a bigger school.”

And to add another feather to her cap, the National Park Service invited her to represent Girl Scouts on a panel discussion for youth programs and volunteering called “Stories of Service: Empowering Youth and Young Adults to be the Future Face of Volunteering in Parks.” The virtual event takes place on November 10 at 4 p.m. and all are welcome to join.