Girl Scouts in the News

Going for the Gold

Akron Girl Scout offers bicycle safety program for children


By Willa Keith

It has been 18 years since a Girl Scout from the East High School neighborhood earned the Girl Scout Gold Award, the highest honor in Girl Scouting.  Heaven Wortman, a senior at East High School and an Ambassador Girl Scout with Troop 90358, is determined to change that.

For her Gold Award project, Heaven organized and will lead a community bicycle safety rodeo for children in grades 3-8.  She will present her Gold Award project on May 28, 2011 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the New Horizons Christian Church located at 290 Darrow Road in Akron.  This event will coincide with the 5th Annual Neighbors Day Akron.

Rodeo participants will be guided through a series of stations that will include bike safety education and  inspections, license registration, helmet fitting and riding skill techniques. Kids will also receive a certificate of completion and are invited to stay and enjoy crafts, games and refreshments after they complete the course.

All participants must be accompanied by an adult and should bring a bike and a bicycle helmet.  A limited number of helmets will be available if needed.

The Gold Award is the pinnacle of leadership and community service in Girl Scouting.  This national award represents a girl's leadership, creativity, and contribution to making the world a better place. It is something that a girl can be passionate about. In Heaven’s case, she is an athlete and would like to educate kids about the importance of staying active, being safe and enjoying outdoor activities. The project must also be something that fulfills a need within the community, creates change, and it should be something that people will want to continue for years to come.

Heaven states the her project is more than a good service project—it encompasses organizational, leadership, and networking skills.  She also states that “going for the Gold” has given her a better sense of community and commitment and has helped her to develop skills she will use throughout her lifetime.


Scout brings honor to troop

Akron girl's 3,551 boxes is tops in cookie sales

By Linda Golz 
Beacon Journal staff writer

Published on Friday, May 13, 2011

Telayne Keith sits with the leftovers from the 10,000 boxes of Girl Scout cookies she had in her garage. Keith sold 3,551 boxes of cookies which made her the top seller in Northeast Ohio. (Ed Suba Jr./Akron Beacon Journal)
View more photos>When Telayne Keith of Akron first saw all of the boxes of Girl Scout cookies stacked inside her family's two-car garage, she couldn't believe it.


Published: May 13, 2011 - 02:30 AM

When Telayne Keith of Akron first saw all of the boxes of Girl Scout cookies stacked inside her family's two-car garage, she couldn't believe it.

 ''It was crazy when we first got the boxes,'' she said. At nearly 10,000 boxes for the entire troop, the containers completely filled their Tyro Avenue garage, she said.

 Telayne, who turns 17 Sunday and shares a birthday with her mom, Willa Keith, was the Girl Scouts of North East Ohio's top seller this year — 3,551 boxes of the sweet delights.  ''I knew I sold a lot,'' she said, but she had no idea how many boxes she had sold until her mother told her.

 Telayne has sold more than 1,000 boxes during each cookie sale since she was in the fourth grade, earning the Girl Scout String of Pearls.

  The second and third top sellers in the council, which covers 18 counties, also are members of Troop 358: Amelia Prybylski sold 2,356 boxes and Heaven Wortman sold 2,347 boxes.

 ''I think it's been a friendly competition'' between Telayne and Heaven, Willa Keith said of the remarkable number of boxes the girls sold.  The six girls in the troop sold a total of 9,720 boxes of cookies this year.

 Many people bought and donated boxes of cookies. The troop gave more than 300 boxes to the Akron-Canton Foodbank and more than 120 to the USO for soldiers overseas, Willa Keith said.

 ''Each year we always find a goal,'' Telayne said. The girls all love to travel, and they have decided to try to raise enough money by June 2012 to go to Europe.

 ''I've never been on an international flight,'' said Telayne, who is vice president of the junior class at Our Lady of the Elms High School.  The farthest she has traveled is to Canada. 

 In addition, the girls in the troop will hold yard sales, car washes and do other fundraisers to pay for their trip.

  Willa Keith said they will spend 17 days traveling in Europe and visit the Girl Scout Councils there.

 ''That was kind of a motivation'' to sell the cookies, she said. Her daughter agreed, adding ''I couldn't have done it without all my family support.''


Linda Golz can be reached at 330-996-3640 or


 Local Girl Scout & Leader Interviewed on 1590 WAKR

Daysha Lawrence,
May 23, 2011, 10:07 PM
Daysha Lawrence,
May 23, 2011, 10:07 PM