Girl Scout comforts visiting patients to earn Gold Award

Ellisa Pacht

Girl Scout Ellisa Pacht donated 21 no-sew blankets and 10 crocheted teddy bears to Aishel House, a residence for patients undergoing long-term medical treatment at Texas Medical Center, to earn the Girl Scouts of San Jacinto Council Gold Award, the highest award a Girl Scout can achieve.

“I learned that I can’t do everything by myself, and I should use volunteers to maximize the effort put into the project,” says Ellisa, a 2011 graduate of Clements High School. “I’m glad I did this project because it made me use my leadership and organizational skills.”

Earning the Gold Award is a significant honor that requires recipients to demonstrate outstanding leadership skills, career planning, community involvement and personal development. It takes more than 100 service hours and two to three years of intensive work to complete the award requirements, which include planning and completing a project that is a service to the community.

“I can’t imagine what the people staying at Aishel House are going through,” explains Ellisa. “Most of them are far away from home, and they are suffering from different sicknesses. Some are just trying to deal with a family member who is ill. I wanted to help these people.”

For her project, Ellisa recruited a junior Girl Scout troop, her synagogue’s youth group and other helpers, taught them how to crochet and then led the volunteers in making the blankets and bears. As a result, Ellisa and her volunteers brought cheer and comfort to the children and families of Aishel House during a stressful time in their lives.

“Ellisa learned the importance of planning,” says Deborah Pacht, Ellisa’s mother. “She also improved her leadership skills by working with people in different age groups.”

As an active member of Girl Scouts, Ellisa is a cookie sales veteran of 10 years, a Colony Creek program aide of two years and a 2008 Silver Crew workshop leader. She has also earned her Bronze award and made a dollhouse for Child Advocates. At Clements High School, Ellisa was involved in the Texas Association of Future Educators (TAFE) and interned at Colony Meadows Elementary. In the fall, she plans to attend college and major in early childhood education.

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